It should not be a controlled substance. It’s amazing what a difference a little sleep makes. Maybe it’s the music wafting through the home I am sleeping in, the home in which, for the moment, no one really knows my name and so expects nothing more of me than our common humanity and decency. Maybe it’s the change in zip code, climate, slant of light. Maybe it was the combination of opportunity and sheer exhaustion. Whatever it was, all I know is I slept the sleep of children those few hours my colleague was away at physical therapy and now, the world feels utterly at peace with me. The colors visible through every window help, to be sure. Green predominates but no one shade thereof. Roses in several shades beckon. The backs-of-leaves-green has a luminous color to them and the shape of the leaves determines just how much shadow they cast on neighboring leaves.
The gift of patient sight, to sit, and to notice, and to comment provokes, albeit ever so slightly, a guilt for not knowing the name of each bush or trailing vine that frames the windows on every side of this home. It speaks in some desired language of an intimacy lacking on my part – or seems to but nature is nothing if not forgiving. Centuries of our mistreatment bear witness of me. Nature’s only testimony is to die to live again.
I am here to spend the weekend at a conference full of colleagues who share my commitment that education is most true to its promise when it serves as a catalyst for liberation. I know the leader and a few of the attendees and have made contact with a few others though it has been some six years since I have been an active member of the community. Among other things, we will be discharging our way to clearer thinking about what gets in the way of the following:
RC College and University Faculty Commitment:
As a full-fledged human being, I promise to think and to respect thinking, to allow no invalidation of any scholar or teacher, including myself, to refuse to be isolated from my colleagues or to act as an agent of oppression, and to boldly apply my full knowledge and power to the creation of a just world.
“Conscience is that faculty in me which attaches itself to the highest that I know, and tells me what the highest I know demands that I do.” Oswald Chambers