Thursday, August 05, 2010

Raindrops and Discussions

This morning, during a short-lived shower, I stood for a moment to watch raindrops strike the leaves of some flowers beside the house, and the apparent randomness of it reminded me of the seemingly whimsical nature of much that happens during discussions in my classes. The rain was striking the leaves with what appeared to be the utmost arbitrariness – hitting here, there, and everywhere in no obvious pattern. It looked like a soft and pleasant kind of chaos – countless drops shaking the leaves one after another in a casual, unfussy way. I often see a similar sort of calm chaos in discussions during class – ideas popping up randomly in this or that student, feelings flowing into new feelings, topics turning into other topics. Like the random raindrops this morning, there sometimes seems to be no sensible order in our discussions – just words dropping in the midst of us as fast and as crazily as the rain on the leaves of the flowers. As I thought about it, though, I began to see that I was making a mistake I have often made: I was assuming that because I couldn’t see any order or pattern in the raindrops or our discussions, then no order or pattern existed. It’s strange how self-absorbed I can be – how certain that the way I personally see things is the way they are. Surely the vast universe, this boundless creation I somehow became part of 68 years ago, has countless patterns and designs that my wee mind will never detect. Surely the raindrops touched the leaves this morning just as they were supposed to, in some perfect but imperceptible pattern, and surely our discussions in English class go their apparently rambling way with wonderful order and aptness.

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