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June 26, 2013

8

WK 4: Chapters 9-12- Changing Perspectives, Altering Realities

by catherinejackson01

As I have sat here staring at a blank screen for a couple of hours struggling on how to begin, where to connect to, determining what message should be expressed, it has hit me-quite literally staring right back at me…the blank page.  I know you are probably wondering what meds I am on, but seriously, these chapters are metaphorically represented by my blank page.  You see this document, this blog, was once blank, empty-initially, there were no limitations, there were no measurements.  This page, this blog is my chess board, and it is wide open to a plethora of possibilities and it happened to have been clear of any obstacles or hindrances that could have impeded what is written.  Better yet, it carries no baggage, no regrets, no vengeance, no expectations-other than what I determine is essential-what I realize I need to do in order to connect-not just with the assignment, but to connect intrinsically with the “art of possibility.”  Now, as the words have emerged, I can battle with the letters or create something fluid and editable because there is no battle to conquer-no competition to prepare.  However, although this was an epiphany, it isn’t the only realization or thought I have had since reading these chapters-I have been enveloped by ideas, contradictions, questions. 

For example, these last four chapters kept prompting a connection within me to the first four chapters-perception and seeing new perspectives where blame is not a reality, only a minor obstacle that can be altered based on one’s choice, one’s power of choice and realization.  Giving the “A” is how you tell the “WE” story, how to create a framework of possibility, how to become the board, and how to light the spark-it is all connected, just as (for the most part) we are connected by this seemingly insignificant blog.  I mentioned Theresa Smith in my opening blog in response to reading the first four chapters in The Art of Possiblity by Rosamund Stone Zander because she gave me an ‘A’ through giving so freely to me the realization that I was worthy simply because I was a person, by emphasizing that my economic background, the life I was haunted by, the clothes I wore-that none of it had anything to do with my value.  None of these things had the power to control me because they were just things and nothing more. 

What I did not mention in that section was the reality of my life prior to that moment when Theresa Smith enlightened me to the possibilities at my fingertips, and here is where my contradiction with part of what I read emerges.  I believe that we can be the chess board in many situations.  I believe that we can be the framework for humanity just as she was for me, and we can help those around us rise above situations to see new potential and possibilities, but, perhaps it is my personal story that prevents me from connecting to the idea that all of us must wear the blame in situations and acknowledge our errors in problems or people that we encounter.  Although I tend to void this topic as much as possible, I think that it may provide some basis as to why I am struggling so much with this concept.  I was molested by a step-father for somewhere close to 10 years-the exact amount, I am not sure about because I can’t remember when it began, just when it finally ended.

I do not feel or believe that I should ever invite him into my life so we could discuss or resolve how he felt about the situation-I don’t care to, and I don’t think that anyone that molests a child and robs them of their memories can be permitted to be considered someone that I should give an ‘A’ to.  Understanding why someone would do this does not alleviate the impact and ugliness that a child endures…now, with that said, does it mean that I have the right to play the poor me, card.  No, I don’t believe that-I believe that my page is empty and what I write into my life is up to me and what I contribute to this final reading blog and to those around me is that we are all a book waiting to be written, and where we end up is only determined by our own actions; however, with each action, with each word, with each sentence, we can reinvent negativity into something as inspirational as the breath of a new born child. 

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jun 26 2013

    Catherine, While I always enjoy reading your post, this is probably the most powerful one I have read. I have to believe for my own benefit that the Zanders did not include giving an “A” to someone that did that kind of damage. You are very brave for sharing something so personal.

    However, I would like to focus on the first part of your blog. I had a hard time relating to these last 4 chapters, maybe because I have always accepted the blame for things that happen and the fact that accidents happen and one must take risks to even get out of bed in the morning. When you wrote about the connections between the chapters, these last chapters started to connect for me. I am still struggling with how some of these practices are possible, but I guess that is why the book is called the “Art of Possibilities”.

    Reply
  2. Jun 26 2013

    Catherine as I read this I thought about how I tried to explain all the ways that the lessons, blogging, and book have been combined. It was full circle and I think you did a great job of giving that perspective. I love what you have written and you have spoken to me, maybe even given me a spark. Thank you for sharing so beautifully.

    Reply
  3. Jun 28 2013

    Catherine,

    You are very brave. This blog has helped me see how those ideas are related. I am still struggling with the “be the board’ concept. I honestly believe there are some situations that these concepts cannot apply. I believe anyone who has suffered any kind of abuse, does not have to apply these concepts to the abuser. I am so thankful you had a teacher who “gave you an A” and took an interest in your life. She has helped shape the person you are and I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to get to know you.

    Reply
  4. Jun 29 2013

    Catherine, I’m going to miss reading your blog after this program ends. This one was really moving. The blank page as a metaphor for our lives makes perfect sense to me. I often tell my students that their lives are blank canvases upon which they can create their own personal “works of greatness.” I love the story of Theresa Smith giving you an “A” an the tremendously positive influence she had on your life.

    I would like to believe that we can all continue to connect with each other post-EMDT, but life will likely take us along divergent paths. However, the experiences we have all shared and the insight gleaned from readings such as The Art of Possibility have provided us with new knowledge and perspective that I believe has prepared us for our new chapters in life. I know that when school begins in the fall I will think about our conversations, blog posts, collaborative assignments, and other shared experiences as I interact with colleagues and consider how I may share a few sparks in hopes of inspiring them to achieve greatness. Thank you for sharing so much with us over the past few months. I know that you will continue lighting many sparks!

    Reply
  5. edm613
    Jul 10 2013

    Every day is a new day and every blank page is a new opportunity. Thanks so much for sharing such beautiful writing and difficult reflections. I think one of the core ideas is that one can employ whatever method one chooses to constructively move forward in life with as little baggage as possible. Owning ones past without being trapped by it is how I would put it. If there is a way to give an “A” given the horrible theft of your childhood it’s that you’ve created a life that is stronger and also able to reach out to others in need. The “A” is that what he meant to do harm, that could have destroyed your life, has instead become part of a strength in you. And with each new day you can choose, with that blank page, to make some beautiful and hopeful, Thanks for sharing your reflection and part of your journey.

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. WK 4 – Response to Catherine Jackson | Media Asset Creation
  2. Catherine Jackson’s Post and My Comments | Coffee and Buttered Toast =(c+bt)
  3. Week 4 Peer Comment – Catherine Jackson | EDM Greene

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