What if Every Class Began with Heidegger?

North of Waxahachie, Texas

When on a summer’s day the butterfly

settles on the flower and, wings

closed, sways with it in the

meadow-breeze . . . .

            All our heart’s courage is the

            echoing response to the

            first call of Being which

            gathers our thinking into the

            play of the world.

Martin Heidegger, “The Thinker as Poet”

Reading the text above left me breathless, late one night recently.  I had been working over several days, trying to prepare a lecture on Martin Heidegger for my high school philosophy class.  Anyone who has tried to read his work, especially Being and Time, knows that Heidegger’s thought is a difficult nut to crack.  Finally, I read his piece titled “The Thinker as Poet”, read it again, and read it still again.  I couldn’t believe the ideas that washed over me.  For several decades now, my life has zig-zagged between art and academics.  I am salaried to teach academics to high school and college students (art history, philosophy, literature).  I have never stopped making art, and I have pursued watercolors for a number of years now.  And I love the kindredship I feel when I read words such as these from a writer who loved both fields.

With only a few weeks of school remaining, I oftentimes find this time a year the best of times, for me.  Most students (and teachers) have given up by now and are on cruise control.  I always find this an excellent time to pursue studies in areas outside my comfort zone, and I feel that I am a student again, off-balance, leaning into new ideas, and stretching to understand the more nuanced teachings from the masters.  Right now, I am loving my reading and my art endeavors more than ever, and hope that the trend continues a long time.  I can think of nothing better.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.



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