Dormant trees, grasses, plants
An approaching ice and snow storm
So deeply cold that I shiver in front of the fireplace
Pause for reflection
Time to think
Space to grow and create
Asking what is truly necessary
The feel of a snow day
Insulated from the world
Holding undiscovered, mysterious treasures
“In winter silence is visible. Snow is silence become visible.”
– Max Picard
Animals and other shapes in the sky
The space between words
Phil Jackson used to run Chicago Bulls practices in complete silence (Sacred Hoops, p. 119).
I’ve used Nancy Kline’s ideas about silence and listening, presented in Time to Think. It allows each person in a group 5 uninterrupted minutes to speak to the topic at hand. If the individual chooses not to use all of their time, the remainder of their time is spent in silence.
I’ve watched groups of adults and of teenagers struggle with the times of silence. In one case, even 2 minutes to speak or be silent unnerved several individuals.
What would it mean to meet in silence? No cell phones. No e-mail. No video games played under the table. What kinds of connections could be created that would not exist in any other environment? What would emerge from deep listening? What would occur as a result of time spent reflecting together? How would we as individuals be changed? How would our organizations be changed?
Are we as aware of the space between words as of the words themselves?
I’m defying the rat race and stopping to see the world around me, which today is near Hesston, Kansas:
Hesston Friesen Flowers
Late Spring Hesston Barn
Late Spring Kansas Wheat II
In our work on the Kansas EMS transition curriculum project, we’ve been creating media and activities. As an outsider to EMS, I was struck late yesterday with a decision tree that is used to think critically about medication delivery. It has “five rights” or things that must be true in order for the medication to be given:
- Right patient?
- Right medication?
- Right dose?
- Right route?
- Right time?
I am considering how these critical thinking questions can be translated into an organization’s or individual’s decision making process:
- Is this the right person? Team? Client?
- Is this the right action? Process? Intervention?
- Is this action in proportion to the situation?
- Is this the right course? Means? Direction?
- Is this the right time?
The other reflection is how often I assume information doesn’t apply to me. I can quickly jump to the conclusion that a process used everyday by EMS providers doesn’t impact me. Yet every moment is an opportunity to actively engage in learning. All that’s required is that I reflect on my encounters with information, people, and organizations – seeking to learn and integrate my experiences.
What are the opportunities you have to reflect and integrate?
I’m constantly running across ideas worth pondering. So here’s one for reflection . . .
My work with music … has taught me the deepest respect for the emptiness between the notes. Of course, there is no music without the silence. It is silence that actually gives life to sound.
– Jane Lowey quoted in Listening Below the Noise