A Door Ajar

IMG_1324The struggle with knowing how to be in a place is, for me, how to be in this place.  This place is the Appalachian Mountains that have called me and welcomed me through out my life in one way or another.  This place is also an academic life that feeds and sustains my thinking and wondering self.  This place is also the evolving of the third chapter of my life, as Sarah Lawrence-Lightfoot calls the years between 50 and 75; the part of life that Richard Rohr calls Falling Up. These descriptions assume movement, however, not the kind of pushing and striving that characterize the first part of most adult lives.

In what seems on the surface known, in my struggle that doesn’t need to be a struggle, I realize how unknowing creates a tension that is necessary. The tension is necessary to keep possibility alive.

That is what I love about teaching. I am beginning a new semester with both a sense of the familiar, I’ve been here before, and the tension of the unknown; new combinations of people, ideas, and expectancies that walk alongside me to change and shape what we do and experience in this place.

Teaching is about knowing; yet, it is more rightly about creating a space to encounter unknowing, to push the door ajar.

I came across a poem I have been sitting with for some weeks now: “It is Enough to Enter” by Todd Boss. I discovered that Todd Boss, the poet, is also the founder of Motionpoems, which, of course, peaked my own interest in the transformations beyond words.

It is Enough to Enter

the templar

halls of museums, for

example, or

the chambers of churches,

and admire

no more than the beauty

there, or

remember the graveness

of stone, or

whatever.  You don’t

have to do any

better.  You don’t have to


the liturgy or know history

to feel holy

in a gallery or presbytery

it is enough

to have come just so far.

You need

not be opened any more

than does

a door, standing ajar.

Todd Boss

It is enough to savor these words and the images, experience, and unknowing they uncover.  Indeed, there is room to walk around here.  No need for me to push too hard.

One thought on “A Door Ajar

  1. I like this. Best wishes for your new academic year and your life year. Looking forward to being in touch a little more – maybe even a visit one way or the other. Missing both you and Mitch. Life moves on. Love to you both. Sarah


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