537. A Safe Place

Yet another Georgia O’Keeffe image used on the latest poem from the 2015 August Poetry Postcard Fest, and another reference to one of the more grisly events in the summer 2015 European refugee crisis.

I look back at this and, in the wake of experiences I’ve had since I wrote the poem, how much of the academic world has regressed into a need to create “safe spaces” I offer this quote:

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers. 
M. Scott Peck

Now I get that the intention in classrooms and elsewhere is to prevent hateful behavior against people from groups that have borne the brunt of it over the centuries and I have no desire to create spaces where hate is promulgated. I do think being uncomfortable leads to self-knowledge and why are we here as humans but to gain that and learn how to love.

May all sentient beings find a safe place and may we learn the real value of each and every one as we go through our own blessed lives.


About Splabman

SPLAB and Cascadia Poetry Festival founder Paul E Nelson wrote American Sentences (Apprentice House, 2015), Organic Poetry (VDM Verlag, Germany, 2008), a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, Washington, A Time Before Slaughter (Apprentice House, 2010) and Organic in Cascadia: A Sequence of Energies (Lumme, Brazil, 2013). Founder of the Cascadia Poetry Festival, in 26 years of radio he interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, Wanda Coleman, Brenda Hillman, George Bowering, Joanne Kyger, Jerome Rothenberg & others, including many Cascadia poets. He lives in Seattle and writes at least one American Sentence every day. https://www.paulenelson.com. Co-Editor of Make It True: Poetry From Cascadia, he is in year five of a twenty year Cascadia Bioregional Cultural Investigation. www.CascadiaPoetryFestival.org (Oct 12-15, 2017, Tacoma, WA)

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