Tuesday, May 31, 2011

...there seems to be only one business at hand: that of finding workable compromises between the sublimity of our ideas and the absurdity of the fact of us.
Annie Dillard. An Expedition to the Pole.


[Witness] is a modest word saying what is there, honestly testifying to exactly what we see, what we hear. But when we enlist in a cause, it is almost impossible to do it right: we embellish, we fill in the blanks, we varnish the dull passages, we gild the lily just a little to hold the attention of our auditors... Important things are at stake -- God, salvation -- and we want so much to involve outsiders in these awesome realities that we leave the humble ground of witness and use our words to influence and motivate, to advertise and publicize. Then we are no longer witnesses, but lawyers arguing the case, not always with scrupulous attention to detail. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What type of writing do you best like to do? Do you prefer books, poetry or magazine articles?
Each has distinct mojo -- pitfalls and rewards. I say, work at all three to develop writing muscle. Books allow for sustained expression on a theme, symphonic development, thrilling discovery along the way. Poetry offers the hard-won joy of distillation. Articles, with their demand for relevance, immediacy, and appeal, keep the writer's feet on the ground. Ease of publication can affect our writing preferences, but fiction -- hardest in that respect -- stirs my soul in those old irresistible ways. 
A Few Words with Arthur Plotnik in POWER WRITING by Daphne Gray-Grant

Monday, May 23, 2011

The world of the things that come into being as a result of action, materializes through thinking.... Human action in the outside world materializes only through thinking about the order of things since things are based upon each other. 
Ibn Khaldūn. The Muqaddimah, an introduction to history.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

For me it is easiest of all to work, and to work poorly, honoring neither the time it takes to do work well, nor the extracurricular effort that goes into maintaining the infrastructure upon which the work relies. ...I’m finally getting that the crux of the system is the questioning: What’s the next action? Where does this go? What does “done” look like? And that the questions themselves must be asked every single time—slowly and painstakingly before swiftly and organically. Organization doesn’t come from occasional actions any more than health comes from popping an occasional vitamin. Truly taking care of myself means living in truth all of the time, not just when it is convenient.
Communicatrix. What taking care of yourself looks like in real time.
Principle 6: Respect for Learners
....Don't ever do what the learner can do; don't ever decide what the learner can decide. ... the learning is in the doing and the deciding. Teachers must be careful not to steal that learning opportunity from the adult learner.
Principle 10: Teamwork
...Our task is not to make a perfect team but to perfect ourselves in the effort to make our team work effectively.
Jane Vella. LEARNING TO LISTEN, LEARNING TO TEACH: The power of Dialogue in Educating Adults.