Between Order & Chaos

The memory, resonant because it’s embodied, of stilling and transmuting the marvelous scary power in the horse holds me in this space: between order and chaos.  Steven Johnson (Good Ideas) calls the principle “the slow hunch” and connects it with the keeping of “commonplace books” in which persons of great ideas logged notes from their minds and their readings, returned to order them, and discovered the kinetic spark.  It’s like the collection in a horse that has been assembled from all those flying parts, elbows to heels and hooves, that are brought to a hum ready for high-level performance. That’s all a good teacher need do.

When I recall Donalyn’s Book Whisperer and see the classroom, it’s there:  the collection of energy, held vibrating by her trust, her hard work, her feel of the pulse of the individuals and the communities, the children, her profession, her family. When I feel the trouble tingle between the wife and me, then simply watch as we hold it unspoken, let the love flow through, and we touch by hand or by spirit, that’s it.

I’m trying to bring it now to the new course that will begin in a week.  I’m assembling the raw parts: an outdated syllabus, new books, more memories, files upon files almost lost in the cloud, anticipations of the promise in my new children, and me. The sense of panic, short breath, tight chest–just name it as the chaos, the run-away, the impossible dream.  Know I recognize this place and embrace it. I like a spirited horse. I love this profession where we collect ourselves between chaos and order, ready for the next chapter: Serendipity.

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