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(Re)turning to the poetic I/eye : towards a literacy of light Rajabali, Anar 2017

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	(RE)TURNING	TO	THE	POETIC	I/EYE:	TOWARDS	A	LITERACY	OF	LIGHT	by		Anar	Rajabali		B.A.,	Simon	Fraser	University,	1996	M.A.Ed.,	Michigan	State	University,	2011		A	THESIS	SUBMITTED	IN	PARTIAL	FULFILLMENT	OF	THE	REQUIREMENTS	FOR	THE	DEGREE	OF		DOCTOR	OF	PHILOSOPHY	in	THE	FACULTY	OF	GRADUATE	AND	POSTDOCTORAL	STUDIES	(Language	and	Literacy	Education)		THE	UNIVERSITY	OF	BRITISH	COLUMBIA	(Vancouver)		March	2017		©	Anar	Rajabali,	2017	ii		Abstract			 Rumi	once	wrote:	“When	I	stop	speaking,	this	poem	will	close	and	open	its	silent	wings”	(as	cited	in	Barks,	1999,	p.	66).	This	arts-based	dissertation	is	a	personal,	poetic,	and	pedagogical	study	into	the	kinship	between	poetic	discourse	and	spiritual	expression	where	I	attend	to	the	question:	what	does	it	mean	to	dwell	poetically?	(Heidegger,	1971;	Hölderin,	1984).	I	contextualize	poetry	as	“the	articulation	of	contemplative	perception”	(Laude,	2004,	p.	11),	“a	phenomenology	of	the	soul”	(Bachelard,	1964,	p.	xxi),	wherein	poetic	knowledge	is	a	theoria	(Lakhani,	2010).	I	refer	to	theoria	as	a	way	of	intellectual	seeing	that	recognizes	the	sacred	in	the	mundane,	which	becomes	central	to	my	own	poetic	vision.		 In	enacting	this	(re)search	where	writing	is	the	inquiry	(Richardson,	2000),	I	use	phenomenologically	informed	perspectives	of	a/r/tography	in	qualitative	research	that	“seeks	to	show	and	evoke	the	presence	of	a	lived	experience”	(Todres,	2007,	p.	xi),	where	theorizing	through	the	inquiry	process	brings	forth	understandings	(Irwin	&	Springgay,	2008).	In	this	meta	work	of	researching	poetry	through	poetry,	I	consider	each	poetic	turn	a	mediation	and	meditation	in	“living	a	life	of	deep	meaning	through	perceptual	practices	that	reveal	what	was	once	hidden”	(Irwin,	as	cited	in	Pinar,	2004,	p.	10).	In	a	research	endeavour	that	is	revelatory,	this	research	site	becomes	insight.		 I	draw	upon	Deleuze	and	Guattari’s	(1987)	metaphor	of	the	rhizome,	the	underground	root	system	of	plants	and	theoretical	underpinning	of	a/r/tography,		which	I	reconceptualise	in	the	sky	to	represent	my	dissertation	as	writing	into	a	iii		poetics	of	light.	In	visualizing	what	I	imagine	as	a	“sky	of	inquiry,”	I	make	a	call	for	research	that	has	a	“wider	epistemological	embrace”	(Todres,	2007,	p.	180)	in	the	poetic	gaze	changing	how,	what	and	whom	we	see	(Leggo,	2004a;	Cheetham,	2012).	Through	lyrical	ways,	each	layer	of	my	inquiry	sheds	light	towards	understanding	poetry	as	a	contemplative	pedagogy.	In	(re)turning	to	the	poetic	I/eye,	this	research	represents	a	pledge	to	pedagogical	encounters	that	nurture	spiritual	literacy	where	purposeful	engagement	in	creative	practices	can	become	a	gateway	to	the	realms	of	spirituality.																			iv		Preface		 This	thesis	is	the	original	and	creative	work	of	the	author.	No	ethics	review	was	required	for	this	research.	Grateful	acknowledgments	for	permissions	to	include	the	following:			 A	version	of	the	chapter	“On	Writing	a	Poem”	is	published	in:	Rajabali,	A.	(2014).	On		 writing	a	Poem:	A	phenomenological	inquiry.	Creative	Approaches	to	Research,	(7)2,		 39–50.	Retrieved	from		 http://creativeapproachestoresearch.net/publications/creative-approaches-to-	 research/		 		 A	version	of	the	poem	“Aunty	Yasmine”	is	published	in:	Rajabali,	A.	(2014).	Aunty		 Yasmine.	Journal	of	Artistic	&	Creative	Education,	(8)1,	84–89.	Retrieved	from			 http://jaceonline.com.au/issues/volume-8-number-1/			 The	poem	“Ali”	is	published	in:	Rajabali,	A.	(2016).	Ali.	Journal	of	Poetry	Therapy,		 (29)3,	191–193.	doi:10.1080/08893675.2016.1199509		 The	following	are	in	press:		A	version	of	the	chapter	“Sandals	in	the	Snow”	is	in:	Rajabali,	A.	(in	press).	Sandals	in	the	snow:	How	poetry	winters	a	memory.	In	P.	Sameshima,	K.	James,	C.	Leggo	&	A.	Fidyk	(Eds.),	Poetic	inquiry	III.	Wilmington,	DE:	Vernon	Press.		The	poems	“Rathrevor	Beach,”	“Three,”	and	“Karim,”	are	in:	Rajabali,	A.	(in	press).	The	melody	of	my	breathing:	Towards	the	poetics	of	being.	In	E.	Hasebe-Ludt	&	C.	Leggo	(Eds.),	Provoking	curriculum	studies:	Inspiration/imagination/interconnection.	Toronto,	ON:	Canadian	Scholars’	Press.	v			A	version	of	the	subchapter	“Rhizome	in	the	Sky:	A	Rhizome	(Re)imagined”	is	in:	Rajabali,	A.	(in	press).	Rhizome	(Re)imagined.	Art/Research	International:	A	Transdisciplinary	Journal.		The	poems	“Revelation,”	“Night	Flight,”	a	version	of	“4:15	a.m.,”	and	“In	the	Keenness	of	Seeing”	are	in:	Rajabali,	A.	(in	press).	The	giving	of	grace:	Dwelling	in	the	poetic	I/eye.	In	L.	Butler-Kisber,	J.	J.	Guiney	Yallop,	M.	Stewart	&	S.	Wiebe	(Eds.),	Poetic	inquiry	of	reflections	and	renewal.	Lunenberg,	NS:	Macintyre	Purcell	Publishing.				All	songs	in	this	thesis	are	original	works	and	are	collaboration	between	the	author,	Yasmine	Rajabali	and	Joe	Cruz,	unless	otherwise	stated.	All	songs	and	copyright	are	registered	with	SOCAN,	the	Society	of	Composers,	Authors	and	Music	Publishers.	Master	recordings	are	owned	by	the	author	and	Yasmine	Rajabali.	Grateful	acknowledgements	are	given	to	my	fellow	collaborators	for	permissions	to	include	the	audio.			All	spoken	word	audio	tracks	are	the	sole	creation	of	the	author.		Figure	1-Luminous	Sky	(photograph)	is	my	own	image.vi		Table	of	Contents			Abstract	..........................................................................................................................................................	ii	Preface	...........................................................................................................................................................	iv	Table	of	Contents	......................................................................................................................................	vi	List	of	Figures	..........................................................................................................................................	viii	List	of	Audio	Media	...................................................................................................................................	ix	Acknowledgements	...................................................................................................................................	x	Dedication	..................................................................................................................................................	xii	Epigraph	.....................................................................................................................................................	xiii	Prologue	.........................................................................................................................................................	1	On	Process	..................................................................................................................................................	14	On	Engaging	...............................................................................................................................................	17	On	Song	........................................................................................................................................................	22	On	Method	and	Metaphor	....................................................................................................................	25	Whirling	as	Inquiry	...........................................................................................................................................	27	Rhizome	(Re)imagined:	A	Rhizome	in	the	Sky	......................................................................................	33	Point	of	Light:	Fire	in	My	Eyes	............................................................................................................	49	Point	of	Light:	Fate	Has	Brought	Me	to	Your	Door	....................................................................	58	Point	of	Light:	No	One	Sees	You,	but	I/Eye	Do	..............................................................................	62	Point	of	Light:	Sandals	in	the	Snow	..................................................................................................	67	Point	of	Light:	The	Dawning	of	Desire	.............................................................................................	74	Point	of	Light:	Home	Coming	..............................................................................................................	81	Point	of	Light:	Evoking	You	.................................................................................................................	89	vii		Ogden	Point	..........................................................................................................................................................	94	Point	of	Light:	On	Writing	a	Poem		...................................................................................................	96	Promise	...............................................................................................................................................................	102	Entering	...............................................................................................................................................................	105	(Re)turning	........................................................................................................................................................	108	Point	of	Light:	I	AM	..............................................................................................................................	113	Point	of	Light:	The	Melody	of	My	Breathing	...............................................................................	116	Point	of	Light:	Kneeling	and	Kissing	the	Ground	......................................................................	128	Point	of	Light:	The	Lifting	of	the	Poet	...........................................................................................	135	Point	of	Light:	Cart	Pusher	................................................................................................................	143	Point	of	Light:	Ali		.................................................................................................................................	148	Point	of	Light:	Karim	...........................................................................................................................	155	Point	of	Light:	Mother	Tongue	........................................................................................................	159	Point	of	Light:	Opening	Silent	Wings	............................................................................................	162	Mondays	at	4	.....................................................................................................................................................	189	Point	of	Light:	A	Poetic	Rest	.............................................................................................................	193	Epilogue:	You	Will	Ask	Me	...............................................................................................................	204	Bibliography	...........................................................................................................................................	207			viii						List	of	Figures						Figure	1.	Luminous	Sky.	Photograph	by	Anar	Rajabali……………………......…………...203	ix		List	of	Audio	Media	(Located	in	the	supplementary	materials	and	errata	collection)			1)	Rhizome	in	the	Sky	(spoken	word)		2)	Sama	(song)		3)	Sandals	in	the	Snow	(spoken	word)		4)	Waiting	(song)		5)	Evoking	You	(song)		6)	Epiphany	(song)		7)	Ali	(spoken	word)		8)	Karim	(spoken	word)		9)	Mother	Tongue	(spoken	word)x		Acknowledgements			I	give	thanks	to	the	benevolent	and	merciful	Divine	Spirit	that	allows	me	to	see	the	beauty	of	Creator	and	Creation;	I	kneel	and	I	kiss	the	ground.	To	my	Ismaili	faith	and	community	that	teaches	and	(re)minds	me	to	be	kind,	ethical,	moral	and	honouring	to	all	(human)	beings;	my	pursuit	of	this	education	is	an	expression	of	my	faith,	in	pluralism	and	in	poetry.			To	Dr.	Carl	Leggo,	my	supervisor,	for	being	my	gregarious	guide	on	this	spiritual	and	intellectual	journey,	and	for	opening	the	door	so	I	could	see	the	light	of	sheer	possibility.	I	have	gratitude	for	his	utmost	wisdom,	care,	and	mentorship	and	for	the	lessons	that	will	linger	now,	always	teacher.		To	Dr.	Rita	Irwin,	my	committee	member,	for	her	faith	in	me	and	the	work	from	the	very	beginning;	inspiring	me	to	forge	into	new	frontiers	with	constant	words	of	affirmation	and	conviction.		To	Dr.	George	Belliveau,	my	committee	member,	for	his	keen	insight	and	friendship	throughout	this	journey;	championing	and	encouraging	me	to	tell	the	stories	that	have	become	the	heartbeat	of	this	work.				I	also	have	gratitude	to	my	colleagues	and	teachers	from	my	Masters	program	at	Michigan	State	University,	Dr.	Laura	Apol	and	Dr.	Janine	Certo,	who	were	pivotal	in	sparking	my	research	quest.			And	to	Dr.	Aranka	Anema,	great	friend	and	scholar,	who	with	gentle	persistence	and	vision,	encouraged	me	to	pursue	doctoral	studies.			To	my	family:	My	father,	Ali,	for	teaching	me	to	revere	the	natural	world	and	for	bringing	me	to	Rumi.	My	mother,	Malek,	for	her	poetry	and	prayers	and	teaching	me	to	embrace	the	Mystery.	My	sister,	Rahima,	for	her	imaginative	and	creative	free	spirit,	and	keeping	me	inspired	with	hopeful	stories	of	teaching	and	learning.	My	xi		sister,	Yasmine,	for	always	lifting	me	up	and	high,	giving	the	Music	to	my	life.	And	to	my	brother-in-law,	Geoffroy,	for	the	graciousness,	comfort	and	laughter	he	brings.	To	my	best	friend	of	many	years,	Rubina	Kurji,	whose	friendship	has	been	a	great	blessing,	seeing	me	through	the	dark	and	the	light,	with	an	unyielding	faith	that	I	had	something	to	say	to	the	world.		I	give	thanks	to	the	department	of	Language	and	Literacy	Education	for	the	support	of	this	work.	And	to	Chris	Fernandez,	Graduate	Program	Assistant,	who	with	good	humour	and	care,	steered	me	through	each	phase	of	this	process.				To	my	UBC	colleagues,	for	their	friendship,	scholarship,	invaluable	support,	wisdom	and	generosity.	I	am	very	grateful	for	the	meeting	of	our	paths:	Dr.	Heather	Duff,	Claire	Ahn,	Melanie	Wong,	Eury	Chan,	Janice	Valdez,	Jee	Yeon	Ryu,	Natalia	Archaka,	Sandra	Filippelli,	Abby	Wener	Herlin,	Harini	Rajagopal,	Ernesto	Pena,	Kyle	Stooshnov,	Yoriko	Gillard,	Gabriella	Maestrini.	And	to	the	many	others	whom	I	have	journeyed	with	and	shared	stories.			And	to	the	creative	scholars,	art-based	researchers	and	a/r/tographers	that	have	come	before	me,	I	honour	your	fearlessness	and	I	am	indebted	to	you	for	lighting	the	path	for	me	to	follow:	Dr.	Pauline	Sameshima,	Dr.	Sean	Wiebe,	Dr.	Lorri	Neilsen	Glenn,	Dr.	Barbara	Bickel,	Dr.	Karen	Meyer,	Dr.	John	J.	Guiney	Yallop,	Dr.	Lynn	Fels,	Dr.	Celeste	Snowber,	Dr.	Peter	Gouzouasis,	Dr.	Ahava	Shira,	Dr.	Christi	Kramer,	Dr.	Danny	Bakan…and	the	many	others	whose	scholarship	has	had	a	profound	influence	and	presence	in	this	work.			To	each	one	of	my	teachers	and	my	students,	I	express	great	gratitude	for	the	role	you	have	played	in	my	own	becoming.			And	in	the	end,	for	the	poetry	and	the	lyrics,	I	am	humbled.		Thank	you	for	coming	through	me.	What	a	joy	and	privilege	this	has	been.		xii		Dedication				For	Karim	(my	heart):		Who	is	gentle	and	kind	and	sees	light		in	everyone	and	everything.		xiii		Epigraph				Everything	that	is	made	beautiful	and	fair	and	lovely	is	made	for	the	eye	of	one	who	sees.		(Rumi,	as	cited	in	Helminski,	2000,	p.	5)1		Prologue		In	the	Keenness	of	Seeing		What	does	it	feel	like	to	be	the	rain?	To	be	a	drop	of	many	drops	within	a	drop		of	rain	gathering	finding	and	forming	merging	in	the	womb		of	an	earth	hovering	cloud	releasing	and	revealing	itself	onto	an	eager	waiting	leaf	tracing	a	tender	pattern	of	understanding	on	the	keen	green	veins	in	a	luxurious	lingering	of	a	drop	on	a	leaf	slightly	bowing	to	the	giving	of	grace	making	the	green	more	seen	by	Me—	who	for	a	moment	looks	out	my	kitchen	window	while	making	a	cup	of	congenial	tea	to	notice	a	sole	drop	of	rain	dwelling		on	the	tip	of	a	leaf	like	a	luminous	pearl		earring	I	once	noticed	worn	by	a	woman	with	onyx	black	hair	2		the	white	flashing	in-between	to	be	seen	by	those	who	seek	to	see	its	baring	beauty		What	does	it	feel	like	to	be	the	leaf?	Silently	communing	with	the	rain	creating	loving	patterns	in	the	palm	of	one’s	very	hand	holding	drops	that	eventually	will	be	relinquished—	like	the	palm	of	my	hand	now	that	holds	a	pen	creating	a	love	that	I	will	too	release	in	renewal	and	gratitude.					 I	enter	into	this	dissertation	with	an	eagerness	to	know	the	poetic	experience	as	it	is	living	and	breathing	through	me.	In	this	way	of	attending,	it	is	the	I/eye	that	hones	in	to	the	subtle	signs	that	are	then	set	alight	through	words	that	speak	of	heightened	moments	awakening	in	poetry.	This	attentive	engagement	with	the	world	in	words	is	where	creative	communion	brings	a	grace	that	leads	into	purpose	and	meaning.	As	spring	sings	nature	in	its	full	potentiality,	blooming	in	a	wide-eyed	awakeness,	I	know	poetry	as	a	language	that	transcends	and	lifts	an	experience	to	the	fullness	of	being.	I	come	here	as	all,	poet,	lyricist,	researcher,	and	teacher,	embodying	the	fluid	identities	that	symbiotically	takes	me	towards	keener	knowing	in	the	ebbing	and	flowing	that	becomes	this	work.	In	the	light	of	understanding(s)	that	poetic	knowing	may	bring,	as	in	the	raindrops	that	lingered	luxuriously	and	3		lovingly	on	the	keen	green	veins	of	the	sole	leaf	that	called	me	to	pen	these	opening	verses,	I	enter	this	space	proclaiming:	I	am	that	leaf		 and	the	raindrops	are	the	words		 	 and	the	patterns	are			 	 	 	 This.				 This	dissertation	represents	a	process	of	questing,	an	“evocative	representation”	(Richardson,	2000,	p.	913)	of	qualitative	research	where	writing	itself	becomes	the	inquiry.	I	subject	myself	to	the	experience	of	writing	and,	in	turn,	I	am	the	subject	of	the	inquiry.	In	this	aesthetically	rich	space,	vulnerability	opens	to	the	experience	of	a	“self-reflective	and	transformational	process	of	self-creation”	(Richardson,	2000,	p.	931).	As	Kates	(2005)	states	in	Personal	Creativity	as	Soul	Work,	I	am	“a	sovereign	cartographer	of	[my]	own	life,	work,	desires	and	destiny”	(p.	203),	and	my	research	has,	in	turn,	become	my	personal	odyssey	(Denzin,	2008),	my	practice,	my	pledge,	and	my	pilgrimage.			 What	is	reaffirming	through	this	journey	is	the	emphasis	on	(re)search	as	a	generative	process	of	exchange	in	the	primacy	of	an	unfolding—or	as	I	conceptualize—an	unfurling	mind,	body,	heart,	and	soul.	In	the	movement	and	moment	of	the	doing,	in	the	vulnerability	of	this	“nervous	performative	writing”	(Irwin	&	Springgay,	2008,	p.	xxx),	I	am	living	this	process	as	an	“embodied	methodological	praxis”	(Saldaña,	2011,	p.	13).	I	am	enacting	an	a/r/tographic	inquiry	that	prioritizes	the	steady	rhythms	and	reverberations	of	researching	that	is	created	through	a	dialogic	that	is	in/out/through	the	artist/researcher/teacher	4		identities.	This	keenness	of	sight	is	an	outcome	of	being	fully	engaged	in	what	one	does	towards	arriving	at	a	state	of	“perceiving	freshly”	(Sumara	&	Carson,	1997,	p.	xvi).	And	I	am	actively	participating	in	creating	understandings	that	are	rhizomorphic	(Deleuze	&	Guattari,	1987),	constantly	in	the	act	of	creation	in	a	movement	that	is	both	a	shifting	and	turning	into	and,	also,	a	(re)turning	back	into	self.	Each	poetic	line	descends	into	deeper	layers	of	understanding	and	then	knowing,	cycling	through	the	colours	of	my	being	and	my	becoming.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 This	is	transformation.			 Through	the	generative	processes	of	practitioner-based	research	there	is	momentum,	and	I	am	living	through	the	questions	into	the	answers	(Rilke,	1984)	bringing	forth	new	curiosities.	Thus,	“theorizing	through	inquiry	seeks	understanding	by	way	of	evolution	of	questions	within	the	living	inquiry	processes	of	the	practitioner”	(Irwin	&	Springgay,	2008,	p.	xxiii).	This	(re)search	is	in	a	perpetual	space	of	becomings—not	a	fixed	geographical	place—but	where	site	is	insight.	To	be	in	this	(re)search	as	a	space	and	place,	entails	self	to	be	open,	flowing,	relinquishing,	dynamic	and	fluxing	to	process,	that	is	always	in	process	(Leggo	&	Irwin,	2014).			 	 I	am	being	becoming	(de	Cosson,	2002)	and	also	becoming	into	Being.		 In	this	dissertation	I	make	a	call	to	research	that	has	a	“wider	epistemological	embrace”	(Todres,	2007,	p.	180)	in	twofold	understandings.	Firstly,	in	using	phenomenologically	informed	perspectives	through	a/r/tography,	my	emphasis	is	on	qualitative	research	that	“seeks	to	show	and	evoke	the	presence	of	a	lived	experience	through	words”	(Todres,	2007,	p.	xi).	The	breadth	of	(re)search	becomes	5		a	steady	breath	of	arriving	towards	the	very	flesh	of	understandings	(Abram,	1997),	where	knowing	is	a	sensuously	intimate	process	of	revealing.	A/r/tographic	awareness	is	“living	a	life	of	deep	meaning	though	perceptual	practices	that	reveal	what	was	once	hidden”	(Irwin,	as	cited	in	Pinar,	2004,	p.	9).	Secondly,	as	my	work	is	situated	in	spirituality,	a	wider	embrace	is	to	recognize	in-between	spaces	as	places	of	renewal,	and	to	let	mystery	be	mystery	by	not	reducing	it	to	categorical	thought	(Todres,	2007),	but	to	come	away	with	a	“felt	sense”	(Gendlin,	1982)	of	the	human	spiritual	experience,	of	a	touching	and	a	transcendence.	A/r/tography	is	both	tension	and	openings,	that	is,	vulnerability	leading	into	freedom.	This	is	a	freedom	of	expression	and	expressing	what	is	coming	through	in	these	summit	moments	of	heightened	engagement.				 I	am	aware	that	in	capturing	the	potential	aliveness	of	an	emerging	phenomenon,	there	exist	experiences	that	escape	linguistic	capture.	Practicing	poetry	as	inquiry	also	gives	integrity	to	the	white	spaces	that	emit	meaning	in	their	own	silent	ways.	These	white	spaces	is	where	poetic	desire	harbours,	and	as	a	(re)searcher,	I	am	attentive	to	what	is	said	and	unsaid	but	somehow	still	radiating	through,	flickering.	I	proclaim	this	dissertation	to	be	my	poetics	of	light.	Hejinian	(2000)	theorizes	poetry	and	poetics	as	“reciprocally	transformative”	in	that	“poetry	has	its	capacity	for	poetics,	for	self-reflexivity,	for	speaking	about	itself;	it	is	by	its	virtue	of	this	that	poetry	can	turn	language	upon	itself	and	thus	exceed	its	own	limits”	(p.	1).	Herein,	I	state	that	this	work—not	only	the	poetry,	but	the	prose,	the	lyrics,	the	music,	the	spoken	word—are	all	shaped	by	my	poetic	seeing	that	is	a	primal	force	of	my	being.	6			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 It	is	just	like	breathing.	And	my	thesis:		Poetry	and	spirituality			 as	one	creative	entity			 	 living	in		 	 	 and	through	 		 	 	 	 relational	harmony,			 	 	 	 	 strengthening	and	nourishing			 	 	 	 	 	 each	other	giving		 	 	 	 	 	 	 contemplative	ways	of		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 seeing,	being,	and	becoming.			 In	the	heartbeat	of	this	inquiry	is	a	process	of	evocation	and	validation,	where	knowing	is	experiencing	through	negotiating	subject,	spirit,	and	source.	I	understand	this	process	as	coming	to	the	“realness”	of	what	is	being	felt	and	I	am	moving	with	a	“rich	soft	wanting”	(Sandburg,	1964,	p.	18),	capturing	the	essence	of	the	experience.	I	am	writing	towards	revealing	the	heart	of	the	inquiry.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 And	I	am	essencing.		 Thus,	the	soul	of	my	theorizing	through	the	poetic	experience	is	situated	in	poetry	as	an	emotion	and	motion	borne	in	the	soul	(Bachelard,	1964;	Heaney,	1995)	wherein	“poets	speak	on	the	thresholds	of	being”	(Bachelard,	1964,	p.	xvi).	In	the	gateway	of	becoming	is	where	I	contextualize	poetic	discourse	as	“the	articulation	of	contemplative	perception”	(Laude,	2004,	p.	11),	wherein	knowledge	is	a	theoria	driven	by	“an	embodiment	of	a	desire	that	comes	up	from	the	ground	of	the	soul”	(Lakhani,	2010,	p.	11).	As	“prayer	is	a	supreme	act	of	creative	imagination”	(Corbin,	as	cited	in	Cheetham,	2012,	p.	xi),	I	propose	creative	activity	as	an	act	of	prayer	in	7		the	notion	of	poetic	consciousness	as	revelatory	and	dialogical—a	calling	to	and	answering	of.	In	the	cognitive	and	emotional	shifts	of	being,	I	am	encountering	the	depths	and	breadths	of	spiritual	experiencing.	Each	layer	of	this	inquiry	then	strengthens	understandings,	where	poetry	is	both	an	epistemology	and	an	ontology	(Leggo,	2006b).	Poetry	is	a	way	to	know	the	world(s)—material	and	spiritual—but	also	a	way	of	being	where	in	poetry’s	givenness,	for	me,	there	comes	balance,	a	coming	back	to	centre.	I	resonate	with	Lakhani	(2010)	who	writes	of	the	metaphysics	of	poetic	expression	is	that	“to	know	is	to	be	anchored	in	one’s	spiritual	center”	(p.	181),	it	is	to	be	aware	of	who	one	is.			 This	work,	in	turn,	becomes	a	manifestation	of	a	soul’s	revealing	as	an	“outcome”	of	dwelling	and	indwelling	in	poetic	knowing.	In	my	writing	towards	understanding	what	I	call	the	“Real”	is	where	I	am	attuning	to	the	soul	of	my	own	being,	as	I	am	connecting	to	a	sacred	presence	that	illumines	my	world.	For	me,	to	engage	deeply	in	my	artistic	practice	is	where	I	experience	the	Real.	It	is	through	the	synergy	of	both	intellectual	pursuit	and	imaginative	prowess	in	which	I	can	experience	and	access	the	transcendent	levels	of	reality.	This	is	a	vertical	space	encompassing	both	my	material	and	spiritual	worlds,	earth	and	heaven,	a	worldview	that	has	breadth,	height,	and	depth	(Lakhani,	2010).	Furthermore,	this	is	a	worldview	where	intellect	and	faith	are	not	separate,	but	where	intellectual	pursuit	is	my	faith-in-action,	allowing	me	to	witness,	see,	and	revere	my	creation.					 I	consider	how	to	contextualize	and	conceptualize	what	perhaps	does	in	the	end	“evade	the	cage	of	definition”	(Whyte,	1994,	p.	13).	I	resonate	with	and	refer	to	Hazrat	Inayat	Khan	(2012)	who	writes	that,	“if	there	could	be	a	definition	of	8		spirituality,	it	is	the	tuning	of	the	heart”	(p.	174)—in	poetic	vision,	seeing	leads	into	attuning	to	the	melody	of	one’s	breathing	with	the	world(s).	In	turn,	to	engage	in	this	dissertation	is	to	be	in	this	dialogical	dance	that	gives	promise	and	possibility	to	poetry	as	intention	to	move	with	and	to	name	Earth	as	“being,	consciousness,	experience,	and	the	material	body	are	enmeshed	within	phenomenological	states	that	extend	and	merge	self	into	a	intricate	and	constantly	mutating	social	geography”	(Hayes,	Sameshima	&	Watson,	2015,	p.	39).			 In	my	intention	to	document	a	deepening	awareness	into	the	lived	experience	of	the	poetic	and	the	mystical	as	contributors	to	both	healing	and	to	loving,	I	take	a	phenomenological	stance	to	this	work	as	my	meaning	making	becomes	the	quintessential	element	of	my	experiencing	(Patton,	2002).	I	am	writing	my	experience	of	phenomena	as	seen	through	the	I/eye	that	is	living	it,	towards	unveiling	and	revealing	the	essence	or	the	heart	of	what	is	holding	my	attention	and	intention.	In	turn,	I	hope	the	reader	comes	away	with	a	strong	sense	and	understanding	of	what	this	has	felt	like.	I	also	resonate	and	draw	from	hermeneutics	as	more	broadly	defined	beyond	a	theory	of	text	interpretation	to	how	experiences	are	interpreted.	I	am	always	in	a	mode	of	interpretation	from	experiencing	the	life	world,	to	writing	this	world	in	poems,	to	reflecting	on	the	poetic	event	and	how	it	enriches	spiritual	understandings.		In	whirling	as	inquiry,	as	I	will	propose,	I	am	highly	peaked,	attentive	and	engaged	in	all	moments	of	this	work;	I	am	always	in	interpretation.	Spirituality,	therein,	is	not	only	a	way	of	being	in	the	world	but	is	a	way	of	interpreting	the	world;	a	stance	to	spirit	reflects	our	own	deep	yearning	for	meaning.	And	as	this	work	will	communicate,	this	becomes	a	dialogical	9		encountering	that	is	giving,	generative	and	gracious.	Thus,	I	take	“	a	phenomenological	concern	for	describing	our	ways-of-being	in	the	world	with	a	hermeneutic	concern	for	interpreting	the	social-symbolic	world”	(Geelan	&	Taylor,	2001,	par.	16),	and	presenting	this	world	in	poetic	ways	for	others	to	enter	the	work	and	circle	in	their	own	interpretations.			 In	moving	through	what	is	personally	significant	to	me	as	a	(re)searcher	researching	poetry	through	poetry,	is	to	be	in	a	place	where	understanding	is	given,	revealed,	and	then	affirmed	in	a	perpetual	process	of	being	in	the	experience	of,	in	the	layers	of	meta-understandings.	In	my	own	seeing	is	the	“I”	and	the	“Thou”	and	the	“Other;”	that	which	the	eye	perceives	is	always	in	relation	to/with/through/upon	another,	being.		 	 	 And	I	am	I	and	I	am	thou	and	I	am	also,	at	times,	the	Other.		As	Leggo	writes	(2004a):			 We	are	born	into	relations	with	others,	relations	that	have	been	inscribed	by		 dynamics	of	politics	and	economics	and	history	and	education	and	religion,		 and	we	are	defined	by	those	relations,	even	as	we	seek	to	define	ourselves	as		 Other,	as	different,	as	unique.	(par.	7)		In	this	keenness	of	seeing,	I	perceive	others	to	be	and	then	become	through	me:	poetry	changing	how,	what	and	whom	we	do	see	(Cheetham,	2012).	In	this	profundity,	I	add	“political”	to	this	undertaking	in	representing	poetry’s	educative	ability	for	both	agentive	and	empathetic	understandings	towards	living	harmoniously	in	our	pluralistic	world.			 Poetry	names,	claims,	and	frames	this	work.	Hafiz	wrote:	“what	we	speak	10		becomes	the	house	we	live	in”	(Ladinski,	1999,	p.	281).	In	this	homing	and	honing	into	poetry	is	my	em/bodied	representation	of	a	questing	that	marries	the	intellect	and	heart	through	lyrical	renderings.	I	move	and	(re)turn	through	the	thresholds	of	my	own	poetic	awareness	in	a	philosophical	inquiry	to	the	vertical	and	musical	experience	of	a	spiritual	process	of	attuning,	in-being	(Heidegger,	1985)	and	in-seeing	(Rilke,	1984),	documenting	my	poetics	of	light	encountering	questions	of	life,	of	faith	and	of	destiny.	As	my	life	has	been	informed,	inspired,	and	inspirited	through	mysticism,	I	bring	into	this	scholarship	poet-philosophers	that	give	meaning	to	the	experience	of	spirituality	as	“meeting	mystery”	(Todres,	2007,	p.	184)	while	illuminating	the	very	heights	of	the	transcendental	potential	of	language.	In	my	Shia	Ismaili	Muslim	tradition,	the	richness	of	the	Sufi	poets—Rumi,	Hafiz,	Fariduddin	Attar,	Inayat	Khan,	Shams	Tabrizi,	Nizami,	Khalil	Gibran—kindle	meaning	into	what	it	means	to	be	human,	being.	In	knowing	what	it	means	to	be	human	is	to	know	what	lies	beyond.	The	heart	of	these	poets	and	their	poetry	harbours	the	notion	that	the	act	and	intention	of	the	search	is	what	brings	the	beauty.	And	this	searching	is	key	to	the	human	experiencing	and	the	shape	that	spirituality	may	take.	Thus,	in	poets	such	as	Rumi	who	speak	of	the	divine	experience	of	love	as	the	human	experience	of	love,	there	is	a	bridge	of	understanding	that	speaks	to	people	as	a	whole.	Herein	is	where	there	is	plurality,	and	it	is	my	hope	that	this	work	is	reaching	out	to	others	in	(re)presenting	the	human	spirit.	And	I	am	a	life	emerging	in	the	veritable	light	of	poetic	creation	(Bachelard,	1964).			11			 My	teachings	and	the	guidance	that	my	faith	bestows	upon	me	inspirit	this	quest.			 	 	 	 	 	 And	I	am	always	writing	with/in	Faith.	And	in	the	poetic	I/eye	is	where	I	negotiate,	comprehend,	and	understand	phenomena,	both	the	seen	and	unseen,	in	a	work	that	is	a	unity	of	intellectual,	intuitive,	imaginative,	and	spiritual	power.	This	imaginal	place	of	a	coming	to	know	is	rooted	in	(re)search	that	awakens	and	strengthens	my	own	sense	of	spiritual	literacy,	that	is,	a	sharpening	and	a	deepening	of	my	own	faculties	of	intuition	and	perception.			 	 	 And	how	does	one	see	and	read	the	Sacred	in	the	mundane?	Like	the	natural	flow	of	a	freshwater	river	that	finds	itself	merging	into	the	ocean,	this	work	is	the	water	of	life	that	courses	through	my	veins.		I	come	to	the	riverbank	And	peer	into	the	river	Suddenly,	I	see	myself	And	the	river	too	And	it	is	being	in	the	flow1	of	an	experiencing	that	allows	for	this	type	of	literacy,	this	tuning	in	to	Life.	I	claim	that	this	mode	of	attending	does	not	mean	proficiency	or	any	such	expertise:	it	is	a	way	of	being	in	the	flow	of	this	type	of	experiencing,	of	being	in	the	I/eye	where	the	eye	is	also	the	ear	and	the	heart,	to	be	seeing,	to	be	listening,	to	be	feeling,	deeply.	What	does	this	kind	of	attending	require?	It	is	hope																																																									1	I am grateful for my conversation with Pauline Sameshima (personal communication, June 9th,  2016) who offered the notion of “flow” to me. 	12		and	wonder	and	reverence	and	silence	and	vision	and	yearning	and	presence	and	imagination	and	compassion	and	love	and	forgiveness.	In	this	space,	there	is	also	eruption	and	disruption.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 There	is	struggle.		 		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 There	is	always	wind.		In	the	echoes	of	the	wind	of	words	is	the	calling	out	and	back	to	a	place	of	grace.	And	it	is	the	process	and	processing	of	the	journey	that	is	the	integrity	of	this	dissertation,	in	a	gradual	lighting	of	the	way,	in	a	lightedness	that	gains	light	by	light	by	light.	I	am	reaching	for	light.			 I	ask:	How	does	this	enlightened	self-fulfillment	allow	me	to	be	of	service	to	others?	This	education	has	allowed	me	to	move	more	softly	and	compassionately	through	my	evolving	world(s).	In	my	own	literacy	of	light	as	an	artist,	researcher,	and	teacher,	I	state	that	to	engage	in	poetry	revives	the	“spiritual	vision	of	imagination”	(Lakhani,	2010,	p.	228),	and	in	reviving	this	imagination	in	our	secular	lives,	we	can	create	a	transitional	space	of	learning	between	material	and	spiritual	spheres.	Therein,	engagement	in	the	arts	can	bring	one	to	the	threshold	of	spirituality.	Embracing	spiritual	sources	of	knowing	can	lead	to	peak	educational	experiences	that	fill	our	desire	for	solitude,	wholeness,	love,	and	connection	to	one’s	world(s).	This	work	takes	a	contemplative	stance	to	education	and	the	pedagogy,	herein,	is	that	contemplation	is	an	essential	part	of	learning	for	teacher	and	for	student.	This	work	represents	my	own	teacher	inquiry	and	how	this	self	in	work,	this	soul	in	work,	can	strengthen	the	teaching	I/eye.		13			 It	is	my	hope	that	this	work	will	follow	the	line	of	research	in	the	field	of	holistic	learning,	spirituality,	and	teaching	(Ashton	&	Denton,	2006;	Denton,	2005;	Kates,	2010;	Leggo,	2006a;	Miller,	2005;	Moore,	2005)	where	I	deeply	resonate	with	the	Aga	Khan’s	notion	(1979)	that:	“Creativity	knows	no	frontiers:	it	is	not	of	the	East	nor	the	West,	of	the	North	nor	the	South,	but	it	sometimes	needs	awakening,	to	be	set	alight,	to	be	shown	a	purpose”	(par.	37).	I	propose	that	it	is	a	(re)awakening,	which	not	only	gives	permission,	but	is	also	towards	self	preservation.	In	this	preservation	is	where	one	can	find	a	sense	of	purpose.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 And	I	am	purposing	now.		 	As	a	steward	of	poetry,	I	find	this	purposing	in	a	question	where	Aoki	(1990/2005)	also	found	inspiration.	The	site	of	this	inquiry	will	now	turn	and	(re)turn	to	the	personal,	the	poetic,	the	philosophical,	and	the	pedagogical	in/seeking:		What	does	it	mean	to	dwell	poetically?	(Heidegger,	1971;	Hölderin,	1984).	In	this	privilege	of	a	ruminative	enterprise	of	traversing	time	and	space	through	language,	this	dissertation	gives	in/sight	to	a	question	that	quivers	in	the	sheer	possibility	of	a	life	that	is	writing	into	the	light	of	knowing.	And	each	word	will	be	shedding	light	upon:	How	does	one	dwell	in	the	poetic	I/eye?	 	 						 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 This	is	how	I	do.	14		On	Process			 As	the	reader	has	already	encountered,	I	use	white	space	not	only	in	my	poetry	but	in	my	prose	as	well.	There	are	moments	when	I	am	called	to	write	and	linger	across	the	page.	In	this	dissertation	that	is	an	a/r/tographic	performative	work2	with	a	pastiche	of	poetry,	lyrics,	song,	and	spoken	word,	the	page	becomes	a	“performance	site	of	reflection”	(Bochner	&	Ellis,	as	cited	in	Springgay,	Irwin,	&	Kind,	2005,	p.	902).	As	I	participate	in	the	process	and	praxis	of	a	deep	embodied	creative	engagement,	knowing	rises	to	the	surface.	In	what	I	call	my	a/r/tobiographical	3	writing,	the	integrity	of	this	work	is	what	it	is	perpetually	becoming	during	the	very	process	of	doing,	where	graphy	is	at	the	heart	of	my	personal	and	pedagogical	exploration(s).	The	spaces	represent	a	process	that	in	turn	represent	my	mediating	(re)search,	which	requires	a	heightened	presence.	In	this	work	that	has	a	sheer	depth	of	feeling,	vulnerability,	and	emotion,	I	enter	a	dialogic	place	where	I	am	conversing	intimately	with	self	as	a	way	of	both	shedding	and	entering	another	layer	of	my	inquiry.	In	my	a/r/tobiographical	writing	as	a	raw	and	honest	chronicling	of	a	life,	I	conceptualize	each	line	as	moving	closer	to	the	heart	of	self,	bringing	me	into	authentic	and	veritable	ways	of	being	in	life	and	in	(re)search.	My	poems,	therein,	are	a/r/tobiographic	renderings.	As	I	consider	a/r/tography	and	a/r/tobiography	interchangeable	terms	in	this	work,	the	stress	on	“biography”																																																									2	In	my	section	“On	Method	and	Metaphor”	I	explain	and	explore	a/r/tography	as	my	methodology	for	this	(re)search.		3	As	in	autobiography,	in	a/r/tobiographical	writing	I	document	the	personal	stories	of	my	artist,	researcher,	and	teacher	identities.		15		details	various	aspects	of	a	life	and	the	explication	of	specific	intimate	experiences	that	illuminate	the	inquiry	at	hand.		 And	in	this	inquiry	as	a	dialogue	led	by	desire,	I	am	deeply	listening	and	there	is	an	intuitive	process	that	guides	my	writing.	In	a	work	that	is	spiritual	in	nature,	I	understand	the	process	as	one	in	which	I	take	“intuitive	leaps”	(Shidmehr,	2014)	that	allow	me	to	step	into	another	space.	In	this	space	is	a	place	where	I	then	enter	into	another	dimension	towards	knowing.	This	leap	may	be	subtle	or	profound	or	a	(re)affirmation	and	I	work	and	write	with/in	the	spaces	where	“lyrical	thinking	[becomes]	a	form	of	intuition”	(Shidmehr,	2014,	p.	16).		 And	there	is	rhythm	here	too.	In	the	ebb	and	flow	of	my	own	artistic	praxis	of	endeavouring	in	poetry	and	lyrics,	there	is	a	lyricism	to	the	work	that	resonates	in	my	prose	as	well.	This	reflects	my	own	lyrical	living	and	being	fully	immersed	in	an	identity	that	is	contigiously	connected:	artist/researcher/teacher.	I	explore	and	play	with	the	aesthetic	potential	of	lyrical	resonances	in	a	work	that	is	a	singing	of	self	(Lee,	1998;	Neilsen	Glenn,	2014)	and	where	there	is	music	everywhere,	a	rhythm	to	(re)search.	I	take	a	lyrical	stance	to	the	writing	where	I	listen	and	attend	to	writing	with	“a	heightened	awareness	of	musicality…	an	ear	for	the	aural	potential	of	the	work”	(Neilsen	Glenn,	2014,	p.	143).		 In	a	dissertation	that	I	call	a	“(re)turning,”	there	are	sections	where	I	may	return	to	a	certain	quote,	poet,	or	scholar,	and	this	is	purposeful	and	reflects	my	writing	process.	Through	each	chapter,	which	I	have	called	a	“point	of	light,”	I	may	return	to	an	idea	with	new	eyes	and	as	a	song	coming	back	to	the	chorus,	and	this	gives	me	a	sense	of	affirmation	and	renewal.		16		My	prayer	beads	Look!		How	they	turn	And		(Re)turn		 As	each	point	of	light	explores	a	facet	of	my	dwelling	in	the	poetic	eye/I	as	an	artist/researcher/teacher,	there	are	not	only	keener	understandings	but	also	a	strengthening	of	self	that	comes	from	the	process.	My	hope	is	that	the	reader	will	come	away	with	the	themes	that	I	intimately	and	sensually	explore	in	poetry	as	a	spiritual	praxis.4	Through	the	journey	of	this	writing,	there	are	many	theorists	that	walk	on	and	off	the	stage	of	this	work	and	this,	too,	is	purposeful	as	I	draw	in	others	who	give	richness	and	perspective	to	my	own	experiencing	as	I	am	living	it.	I	am	drawing	in	and	I	am	drawing	out.	The	intention	is	to	give	holistic	understandings	and	broaden	the	vision	and	reach	of	not	only	this	work,	but	of	what	living	spirituality	can	look	like	and	feel	like	in	our	world.	And	in	my	life	where	spirituality	is	a	continuous	and	integrated	experience,	that	is,	a	way	of	life	that	infuses	all	aspects	of	my	world(s),	I	proclaim	that	I	am	always	a	soul-in-learning.																																																																				4	In	my	next	section	“On	Engaging”	I	propose	the	ways	in	which	the	reader	may	experience	this	work.	17		On	Engaging			 In	post-modern	theorizing,	in	the	personalization	of	participating	in	a	research	endeavour	that	is	an	imaginative	aesthetic	transaction	(Saldaña,	2011),	I	want	to	propose	a	way	of	how	readers	may	engage	and	receive	this	work.	This	could	also	speak	to	a	possible	evaluative	entry	point,	a	way	of	experiencing	and	assessing	“the	artistic	in	the	academic	circle”	(Prendergast	&	Belliveau,	2013,	p.	204).			 As	there	is	lively	scholarship	on	assessment,	validity,	and	interpretation	of	arts-based	research5,	I	bring	to	the	dialogue	the	notion	of	my	dissertation	being	not	only	generative	(Barone	&	Eisner,	2012),	in	that	it	“reshapes	our	conception	of	some	aspect	of	the	world	or	that	sheds	light	on	aspects	of	the	world	we	had	not	seen	before”	(p.	152),	but	also	(re)generative.	This	poetics	of	light,	as	I	claim	it	to	be,	(re)presents	(re)search	that	is	offering	cycles	of	reflection	and	renewal,	and	in	this	renewal	is	the	hope	of	illuminating	ontological	understandings	of	the	human	condition.	Renewal	is	an	outcome	of	being	enmeshed	in	a	process	that	is	in	perpetuum,	where	wisdom	is	coming	from	a	place	of	becoming(s)	bringing	with	it	this	newness	of	knowing.	My	own	process	of	moving	through	each	layer	of	the	inquiry	is	integral	to	this	being	what	it	is,	and	the	strengthening	that	occurs	is	only	through	the	moving	through.			 However,	the	reader	does	not	necessarily	have	to	move	with	me,	although	I	would	desire	her	or	him	to.	But	each	“point	of	light”	can	stand	on	its	own	and	give	in	its	own	way,	in	its	own	shining	(Heidegger,	1971).	Thus,	there	are	many	points	of																																																									5	In	particular	I	refer	to	Gouzouasis’	(2008)	provocative	piece:	Toccata	on	assessment,	validity	&	interpretation.	18		entry	and	of	departure.	And	as	in	a	vista	that	opens	up	before	me	to	see	the	possibility	of	what	lies	ahead,	each	point	strengthens	my	field	of	vision	allowing	me	to	get	closer	to	the	essence	of	the	inquiry.	In	the	processes	of	being	and	breathing	with/in	the	work,	in	this	living	inquiry,	is	where	there	is	a	heartbeat	and	a	heart.	The	heartbeat	of	this	dissertation	is	how	I	conceptualize	my	living	inquiry	as	lyrical,	rhythmic,	and	generating	momentum	commencing	with	the	very	first	word	in	my	opening	poem:	“On	the	Keenness	of	Seeing.”	The	heart	of	this	dissertation	then	begins	with	my	first	point	of	light,	“Fire	in	my	Eyes,”	where	I	sensually	explore,	trace,	and	document	my	dwelling	in	the	poetic	I/eye.	Here	in	the	poetry	and	spoken	word	and	music,	each	lifts	the	colours	of	the	(re)search	to	places	and	spaces	that	evoke	emotive	experiences	that	bring	a	lyricism	of	its	own	kind.	The	integrity	of	the	work	is	rooted	in	the	capacity	to	linger	with	and	then	leave	its	impressions,	where	my	journey	may	speak	to	others	in	soulful	ways.	The	spiritual	scope,	nature	and	breadth	of	this	work	then	must	be	assessed	not	only	in	its	immediacy,	but	also	in	its	capacity	to	(re)turn	to,	that	is,	in	its	rhizomorphic	potential	to	continuously	contribute	to	knowing	some	thing.			 And	my	epiphanies	need	not	be	yours	but	what	may	you	come	away	with?		 I	conceptualize	my	own	hope	for	scholarship	as	research	that	has	wings,	that	rises	and	lifts	into	the	sky	of	inquiry.	This	dissertation	has	a	capacity	for	always	reaching	(Barone	&	Eisner,	2012)	up	and	up	and	up,	where	there	is	this	sense	of	(re)generative	power	in	writing	that	must	be	assessed	on	its	own	effects	to	lift	these	spiritual	understandings.	In	the	movement	of	becoming	(re)generative	is	where	I	am	weaving	this	work	together	in	writing	that	is	threading	knowing.	Thus,	there	is	a	19		metaphoric	threading	through	the	I,	as	in	the	eye	of	a	needle	where	thread	passes	through	and	pulls	out	strong.	I	tread	through	both	obstacles	and	openings,	back	through	self	in	a	self-awareness	that	is	reflective	and	reflexive.			 	I	want	to	state	that	as	much	as	this	is	my	journey-in-revealing,	it	is	my	own	experiencing	that	leads	to	a	“breathing-in”	(Hillman,	1989),	and	also	a	metaphoric	breathing-out,	with,	and	through	others	that	will	experience	and	engage	the	work	into	being	in	their	own	intimate	ways.	And	“In	the	method	of	imagination,	the	researcher	stills	a	moment,	captures	and	invests	a	particular	meaning	to	an	experience…and	draws	attention	to	it,	hoping	the	reader	may	be	opened	to	seeing	anew”	(Green,	as	cited	in	Hayes,	Sameshima	&	Watson,	2014,	p.	47).		 	 	 	 	 	 And	what	is	IT	that	you	may	see,	anew?	The	melody	of	my	own	breathing	desires	others	to	evoke	it,	where	poetry	is	evoked	by	this	unity,	that	is,	where	my	hermeneutic	circle	metaphorically	embraces	others	who	ride	the	wave	of	its	own	revealing.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 My	words	need	you,	too.		 Poignantly,	this	furthers	my	own	understanding	of	poetry	as	a	pluralistic	endeavour	to	speak	to	the	diversity	of	meanings	a	poem	may	hold	for	an	individual	in	a	reading	transaction	formed	by	our	“gender,	ethnic	and	social	background	and	cultural	environment”	(Rosenblatt,	1978,	p.	viii).	In	a	work	that	is	an	experiencing	of	poetry	as	it	is	shaping	a	material-spiritual	identity,	I	speak	to	the	plurality	of	ways	where	“there	are	hundreds	of	ways	of	kneeling	and	kissing	the	ground”	(Rumi,	as	cited	in	Barks,	2003,	p.	123).			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 This	is	one	way.		20			 In	undertaking	a	scholarly	path	towards	illuminating	the	very	intimacy	of	a	spiritual	phenomenon	as	it	is	experienced	through	aesthetic	encountering,	I	understand	how	“research,	like	art,	could	be	accessible,	evocative,	empathetic,	provocative”	and	how	research	“settles	in	your	body	deeply	and	completely”	(Cole,	2004,	p.	16).	Barone	and	Eisner	(2012)	suggest	evocation	and	illumination	as	criteria	for	assessment	and	in	this	work	that	is	in/sight,	I	embrace	the	notion	that,	“sight	can	be	promoted,	and	evocation	moves	that	process	forward”	(p.154).	Moreover,	“when	illumination	is	combined	within	a	vivid	experience,	the	work	will	serve	to	illuminate	cognitively	and	respond	emotionally”	(p.	154).	In	turn,	evocation	is	an	integral	and	primary	response,	which	then	results	in	“an	epistemological	means	for	acquisition”	(Barone	&	Eisner,	2012,	p.	153).	In	receiving	this	work,	my	intention	is	that	in	the	moving	through	the	cycles	of	evocation	and	illumination,	there	are	also	spaces	in	which	to	rest,	to	reflect,	and	to	linger	in	(re)search	that	renews	faith	in	itself	“between	possibilities	and	impossibilities	where	inspirited	newness	is	ongoing	and	constituted	and	reconstituted”	(Aoki,	1996/2005	p.	422).		 In	dwelling	in	the	poetic	I/eye	is	pleasure,	promise,	and	possibility	in	(re)turning	to	what	once	was,	only	to	discover	what	it	could	still	be	becoming.	In	poetic	vision	is	to	illuminate	a	world	pregnant	with	infinitely	rich	meanings.	I	see	with	more	than	the	eye.	Aoki	(1990/2005)	writes,	to	dwell	poetically	is	to	be	in	“a	deeper	realm	beyond	the	reach	of	the	eye,	a	realm	where	we	might	begin	to	hear	the	beat	of	the	earth’s	rhythm”	(p.	375).	And	to	me,	Rumi	captures	the	essence	of	spiritual	literacy	in	that	“The	light	which	shines	in	the	eyes	is	really	the	light	of	the	heart”	(Rumi,	as	cited	in	Helminski,	2000,	p.	85).	In	poetry	as	listening	to	light	21		(Leggo,	1999),	poetry	becomes	into	lightedness.	In	the	hopes	of	this	illumination,	I	trust	and	relinquish	to	a	journey	that	is	an	offering	of	“written	love”	(Bachelard,	1969),	where	I	experience	all	of	my	poetry	as	devotional.	I	(re)turn	to	the	leaf	and	rain	poem	now	becoming	into	song.	In	lyrical	understandings	is	where	I	am	looking	to	the	sky	with	new	eyes:		I	see	the	raindrops	fall	from	the	sky	a	blue	waiting	is	an	eager	leaf	ready	to	feel	anew	Oh!	how	the	drops	linger	on	the	keen	green	what	a	joy	to	witness	what	love	really	means	22		On	Song				 I	open	with	Schuon	(2002)	who	writes	that	“out	of	my	heart	flowed	many	songs;	I	sought	them	not,	they	were	inspired	in	me”	(p.	3).	Schuon	speaks	of	the	heart	of	his	own	process,	where	poetry	comes	in	and	through	the	heart	of	revealing.	With	words	that	carry	with	it	their	own	intention	is	then	an	openness	that	one	must	possess	for	this	coming	through.	Schuon	sees	himself	as	a	conduit,	a	portal	through	which	poetry	sings	out.	The	thesis	of	my	work	can	be	understood	in	poetry	as	pure	revelation.	In	poetry	I	heed	where	it	guides	me,	in	every	poetic	turn	taking	me	lyrically	to	listening	to	the	music	of	my	own	heart	speaking	in	the	very	pulse	and	beats	of	an	embodied	praxis.	As	Schuon	sees	poetry	as	song,	I	have	written	both	lyrics	and	poetry,	and	poetry	becoming	song,	and	song	becoming	poetry,	and	by	delving	and	dancing	in	both	forms	I	am	responding	to	the	music	that	words	carry,	attuned	to	both	the	tone	and	the	tune.	In	the	privilege	of	creating	this	music,	my	own	purposing	comes	in	living	a	lyrical	life	that	is	always	in	the	searching	of	and	to	and	from	and	through.	I	AM	becoming	in	form,	in	a	form	that	is	fluid	as	in	the	water	of	life.	In	the	swirling	and	in	the	whirling,	I	believed	that	one	hand	had	the	poetry	and	the	other	had	the	music,	but	now	in	both	my	hands,	there	is	no	separation.	Hence,	in	the	ebb	and	flow	of	my	poetic	and	lyrical	inquiry,	I	sensually,	textually,	and	vertically	explore	my	evolving	world(s).	To	embrace	and	write	in	both	forms	is	where,	for	me,	there	is	the	ability	to	reach	into	the	heights	of	this	work	that	has	transcendental	intentions.		23			 And	thus,	this	epiphany	allows	me	to	see	my	journey	of	this	dissertation	beginning	over	a	decade	ago,	with	lyrics	that	became	a	concept	album	that	somehow	changed	my	destiny.	I	can	follow	that	line	to	this	moment	now,	a	musical	and	vertical	line,	reaching	up	and	up.	To	stand	back	is	to	give	vision	and	in	my	line	of	sight,	in	this	poetic	I/eye,	I	see	the	sky,	open.		 And	it	began	with	a	song	called	“Sama”	which	was,	as	my	sister	Yasmine	noted,	a	musical	breath	of	emergence.	It	is	Yasmine’s	voice	that	carries	the	lyrics	in	this	collection	of	soul-songs	I	penned	that	spoke	of	an	intimate	and	sensuous	journey	of	the	beauty	and	resiliency	of	the	human	spirit.	There	are	layers	of	voices	herein,	my	voice	embodied	in	the	lyrics,	Yasmine’s	voice	that	weaves	the	melody	and	Joe	Cruz,	producer	and	musical	colleague,	who	was	open	to	my	guiding	the	process,	not	knowing	but	somehow	just	knowing	where	we	needed	to	go.	Speaking	to	him	years	later,	I	apologized	for	being	too	much,	too	passionate,	and	he	replied:	“your	passion,	it	was	integral	to	the	process”	(Personal	communication,	September	5,	2003).	And	I	have	much	gratitude.	Moreover,	it	is	the	voices	of	the	colourful	musicians	that	we	commissioned	who	added	and	brought	their	own	narratives	to	the	telling,	to	the	music	of	each	song	as	it	unfolded.			 	 	 I	have	learnt	that	in	collaboration	can	be	the	supreme	creation.			 Each	song	is	a	questing	and	each	song	is	a	story.	I	strive	for	unity	in	my	poetry,	a	wholeness	that	comes,	a	newness	that	comes	and	in	the	space	of	song,	always	a	(re)turning—a	verse,	a	verse,	a	chorus,	a	verse,	a	bridge,	back	to	chorus.	In	this	dissertation	I	offer	four	of	these	songs,	“Sama”	(2004),	“Waiting”	(2004),	“Epiphany”	(2004)	and	then	“Evoking	You”	(2012),	where	we	came	back	to	the	24		studio	again	eight	years	later	with	the	seeds	of	a	burgeoning	song.	In	making	my	decision	about	what	songs	to	offer,	this	process	of	writing	leads	me	into	the	songs	that	add	another	layer	to	my	inquiry.	What	songs	strengthen	my	notion	of	poetry	as	spiritual	process	and	what	lyrics	simply	just	need	to	be	sung?	In	the	vertical	notion	that	songs	rise	(Bachelard,	1988),	what	is	IT	that	is	rising?	And	I	address	this	through	the	process	of	this	work	allowing	the	revelations	to	come	forth.			 What	gives	me	the	most	humbling	affirmations	in	this	long	line	of	inquiry	is	embodied	in	the	“Sama,”	the	whirling	of	the	dervish	that	inspired	this	soul-song	many	years	ago	and	how	it	continues	to	turn.	What	began	as	muse	and	then	music	is	now	method	and	motivation.	I	understand	I	was	always	purposing,	moving	towards	some	thing.	How	in	the	light	of	knowing	this	now,	moments	upon	moments	upon	moments,	all	have	meanings.			 And	it	was	that	one	moment	when	I	walked	into	the	studio	to	speak	to	Joe	about	commissioning	him	for	our	project.	I	had	a	Rumi	book	in	hand,	some	lyrics,	and	rough	notes,	a	melody	here	and	there.		Do	you	know	this	poet?	I	asked.		He	said,	Not	so	much.	Tell	me.	Let	me	read	you	a	few	verses.	This	is	the	lyrical	inspiration	for	this	album	and	I	also	have	some	CDs	I	would	like	to	play.	I	want	music	that	feels	like	this.	Can	we	do	that?		He	turned	to	me:	“Yes	…	let’s	try.”		 		25		On	Method	and	Metaphor		 		 In	this	search	I	am	Artist	(personal,	autobiographical),	Researcher	(poetic	inquiry,	poetics),	and	Teacher	(pedagogical).	In	locating	my	research	in	arts-based	research	and	specifically	in	a/r/tography,	I	follow	the	leadership,	the	passion,	and	the	commitment	of	fellow	a/r/tographers6	who	in	their	own	rhizomorphic	ways,	have	inspired	“a	desire	to	explore	new	territory,	a	borderland	of	reformation	and	transformation,	a	geographic,	spiritual,	social,	pedagogical,	psychological,	and	physical	site,	intersubjectivity	and	intrasubjectivity	situated	in	and	through	dialogue”	(Irwin,	as	cited	in	Pinar,	2004,	p.	9).	It	is	the	phenomenological	aspect	and	conceptualization	of	the	a/r/tographic	process	that	resonates	with	my	researching	in	and	through	poetic	inquiry,	where	I	am	engaging	in	embodied	language	towards	documenting	a	personal	landscape.	In	this	space	of	(re)search,	I	am	interrogating,	puncturing,	and	also	celebrating	making	meaning,	where	writing	is—word	by	word—creating	a	sense	of	wholeness	in	an	emptying	then	filling,	again.			 As	an	a/r/tographer,	I	give	integrity	and	promise	to	the	third	space	(Bhaba,	1990)	of	a	spiritual	(re)searching	where	the	richness	of	my	work	exists	on	the	very	border	of	both	knowing	and	doing,	reaching	and	touching,	relinquishing	and	receiving,	and	being	and	becoming.	In	participating	in	“borderland	pedagogy”	(Irwin,	as	cited	in	Pinar,	2004,	p.	9),	I	am	a	crosser	of	boundaries	and	in	this	boundary	space	there	is	richness.	This	is	a	space	where	I	know	meaning	making	to																																																									6	See	the	book	Being	with	A/rtography	(2008)	for	a	dynamic	collection	of	researchers	doing	evocative	a/r/tographic	work.	There	are	many	who	have	lit	the	path	for	me.		26		be	vulnerable,	vibrant,	and	open	to	the	vertical	dimensions	of	human	experiencing.	In	the	third	space	of	encountering	is	also	my	third	identity	of	teacher.	Through	the	lens	of	a/r/tographic	awareness,	poetry	is	always	pedagogy.	Poignantly,	through	the	metaphoric	third	eye	and	in	third	space	with	my	three	fluxing	and	fluid	identities	is	wherein	I	move	in/out/through	this	(re)search	in	a	methodological	meditative	praxis.	I	am	a	soul-in-learning	intersecting,	crossing,	and	merging	the	boundaries	of	art,	spirituality,	and	education	for	both	personal	and	social	transformation.	A/r/tographic	language	and	meaning	making	pave	the	pathway(s)	to	understanding	the	rendering(s)	of	this	extended	rumination	that	is	a	purposeful	slow	opening.			 There	are	two	metaphors	that	enable	me	to	conceptualize	how	I	move	through	this	(re)search	in	reflective/reflexive	ways.	The	generative	power	of	the	metaphor	through	the	a/r/tographic	lens	of	inquiry	gives	rise	to	both	a	simultaneous	loss	and	gain	of	meaning	in	perpetual	pedagogical	moments	that	are	“invoking	the	presence	of	what	it	is	not,	and	also	what	it	might	become	.	.	.	to	see	and	reveal	attributes	in	new	ways,	to	cross	boundaries,	and	to	shape	intersubjective	relationships”	(Springgay	et	al.,	2005,	p.	905).	This	is	(re)search	that	breathes	into	its	own	space,	capaciously	unfurling	to	the	very	breadth	and	scope	of	inquiry	enfolding	into	unfolding,	out.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 On	the	wings	of	words…					27		Whirling	as	Inquiry			 		 As	Richardson	(2000)	writes	of	writing	as	inquiry,	I	state	that	whirling	is	my	inquiry.	I	position	this	whirling	movement	as	enacting	a	contemplative	praxis	towards	a	poetic	pedagogy	in	what	Lincoln	and	Denzin	(2005)	call	a	sacred	pedagogical	practice.	The	whirling—the	Sufi	Sama—with	one	hand	to	the	heavens	and	the	other	to	the	earth,	represents	the	materialization	and	spiritualization	(Bochner	&	Ellis,	2002)	of	this	(re)search	endeavour	as	well	as	my	spiritually	secular	existence	as	an	Ismaili	Muslim	in	the	striving	for	balance	in	(re)search	as	life.	That	is,	the	negotiation	between	the	sacred	and	the	profane	aspects	of	human	becoming	in	an	understanding	of	the	material	giving	to	the	spiritual	and	the	spiritual	giving	to	the	material.			 Furthermore,	this	scholarship	needs	both	the	grounding	and	the	lifting	to	fully	actualize	its	sheer	capacity	to	travel	through	the	vastness	of	its	own	inquiry.	In	this	sense,	integral	to	the	whirling	is	the	need	for	foundation—the	horizontal—to	fully	experience	the	potentials	of	the	vertical	and,	in	turning,	this	is	where	the	lifting	of	meanings	happen.	Thus,	the	a/r/tographic	lens	of	research	is	a	performative	space	and	in	this	dissertation	is	where	I	visualize	the	words	as	perpetually	performing.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 And	the	white	spaces	are	too.		In	keen	reflection	is	where	the	light	of	inquiry	is	relative	and	relational	and	Richardson	(2000)	writes	of	crystallization:	“What	we	see	depends	upon	the	angle	of	repose”	(p.	934),	to	stand	back,	to	stand	in,	to	turn	one’s	head	now	ever	so	slightly.		28			 	 	 	 	 	 This	is	the	changing	colour	of	my	being.		 In	this	space	of	aesthetic	expansion	is	where	whirling	as	a	pedagogy	acknowledges	the	act	of	meaning	making	as	passing	through	from	level	to	level	in	bringing	out	the	very	essence	of	the	inquiry.	In	turn,	this	is	(re)search	that	is	revelatory.	In	this	space	is	a	“continuum,	a	turning	back	and	a	moving	forward”	(Springgay	et	al.,	2005,	p.	905).	To	be	in	a	place	of	reflective	attentiveness	(Steinbock,	2007),	of	both	inward	and	outward,	of	back	and	forth,	of	taking	and	giving	is	where	also	reflexivity	can	be	conceptualized.	As	Sandelowski	and	Barroso	(2002)	write:	“Reflexivity	implies	the	ability	to	reflect	inward	toward	oneself	as	an	inquirer;	outward	to	the	cultural,	historical,	linguistic,	political,	and	other	forces	that	shape	everything	about	inquiry”	(p.	222).	In	theorizing	my	praxis	is	a	constant	turning	to	and	returning	to	my	inner	self,	shifting	into	sight.	I	receive	through	the	very	act	of	doing,	and	relinquishing	to	process	is	a	slow	purposeful	flame	of	inquiry	that	gives	impetus	to	greater	depths	of	negotiating	and	knowing	self.			 This	Sama	gives	rise	to	our	faith	in	human	possibility	and	what	we	can	see.	To	whirl	is	to	be	in	a	place	of	both	touching	the	familiar	and	unfamiliar	in	sensual	and	textual	ways	(Irwin	&	Springgay,	2008)	and	also	to	recognize	that	we	need	to	forget	ourselves	to	become	(Steinbock,	2007).	What	I	mean	by	this	is	a	succumbing	to	not	only	process	but	also,	an	acknowledgement	of	what	narratives	we	must	let	go	of	to	get	to	a	place	of	understanding	in	purposing.	And	I	move	into	heightened	and	summit	places	of	both	pain	and	beauty	in	re/writing	and	re/turning	that	“exists	at	the	intersections	of	knowing	and	being”	(Springgay	et	al.,	2005,	p.	900),	in	a	rupturing	that	is	towards	growth	and	grace.	In	this	space	of	puncturing	the	wounds,	29		of	remembering	being,	I	practice	this	living	inquiry	as	a	spiritual	hermeneutics	“wherein	such	faith	be	marked	by	a	quality	of	critical	openness	that	keeps	the	eyes	alert	at	every	moment,	with	an	awareness	that	guards	against	the	lapse	into	forgetfulness”	(Lakhani,	2010,	p.	11).			And:	One	eye	opens		 One	eye	closes	One	eye	opens		 One	eye	closes	I	represent	a	lived/living	body	on	the	very	gateway	to	spiritual	encountering.		Take	it	in		 Let	it	go	Take	it	in		 Let	it	go	Take	IT	in		 Let	it	go		 	 	 	 	 	 	 I	need	to	remember	to	let	it	go.		 And	in	this	place,	I	enter	this	“passage	to	somewhere	else”	(Springgay	et	al.,	2005,	p.	909)	where	poetry	is	the	portal.	I	am	engaging	in	qualitative	research	as	it	captures	the	“potential	aliveness”	of	a	phenomenon	as	it	is	emerging	and	happening	(Todres,	2007).	In	a/r/tographic	questing	as	in	process,	in	practice,	and	in	finding	purpose	is	where	entering	is	a	vulnerable	open	space	harboured	in	desire.	In	this	hermeneutic	circling	as	whirling,	there	is	music.		30			 	 	 	 	 	 	 And	Sama	means	to	listen.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 I	am	tuning	in	and	I	am	turning	in.		In	writing	as	transmission	and	transmitting,	the	reverberations	of	my	poetic	making	generate	for	me	a	rhythmic	beat	to	follow	through	to	its	own	destiny.			 The	concept	of	reverberations	is	a	primal	force	in	this	work	as	it	gives	rise	to	(re)search	that	echoes	and	lingers	in	and	of	itself,	in	a	space	where	words	resound	and	where	white	spaces	are	nothingness.	Linguistic	capturing	is	only	one	aspect	of	this	inquiry	as	what	is	not	explicitly	said	but	still	there.	What	cannot	be	seen	but	felt?	The	dervish	considers	this	notion	as	the	intention	of	the	whirling	motion	is	for	the	spirit	to	merge	with	the	self.	In	the	heart	that	is	moved	by	this	force,	power,	and	love	comes	an	understanding	and	a	silent	knowing	that	gives	off/of	music	that	can	lift	both	participant	and	witness.	It	is	in	this	context	where	I	see	my	a/r/tography	as	becoming	“withness,”	a	synergy	and	symbiosis	that	arises	between	writer	and	reader.	This	is	a	state	of	keen	being	with	ourselves	as	only	an	outcome	of	being	with	each	other,	in	relativity	as	in	relation	to	and	in	the	in-between	of	us.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 I	am	existing	only	because	of	You.		 Reverberations	of	this	search	resound	towards	openings	for	others	to	engage.	I	envision	another	“lifting”	to	occur,	in	research	that	is	giving	to	and	giving	of	and	giving	in	and	giving	with	and	giving,	always.	In	poetry	as	my	whirling,	access	is	given	to	the	mysterious	and	creative	forces	of	the	universe	and	thus,	to	one’s	own	inner	strength	and	power.	And	to	Sama	is	to	be	in	the	sheer	Remembrance	of	You.	 	And	it	is	the	heart	of	the	Sufi	that	is	Being	moved.		31		In	Whirling		 	 	 	 	 I	am			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Touching		 	 Touching		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 		 	 	 	 Touching	Points			 	 	 of	 	 	 	 	Light		 	 Here		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 There		 	 	 	 	 	 Here		 	 	 There	 	 	Crisscrossing		 	 	 	 Network	of		light		 	 	 	 	 lines	Rhizomorphic		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Impressions	on	 	 	 	 	 	 my	body	Burning			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	DESIRE	 Feeling		Nothingness		 	 	 	 	 	 But	Every		Thing				32				And:					We	come	spinning	out	of	nothingness,	scattering	stars	like	dust.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 (Rumi,	n.d.-a,	par.	1)																33		Rhizome	(Re)imagined:	A	Rhizome	in	the	Sky			 		 The	poet	and	mystic	Hafiz	once	wrote:	“	A	poet	is	someone	who	can	pour	light	into	a	cup,	then	raise	it	to	nourish	your	beautiful	parched	holy	mouth”	(as	cited	in	Ladinsky,	1999,	p.	8).	Inspired	by	Hafiz	I	then	ask:	What	is	this	light?	As	a	poet	I	aspire	into	the	light	of	knowing	with	each	line	turning	and	illuminating	into	keener	understandings	of	my	lifeworld(s).	In	this	process	I	am	perpetually	reaching	towards	what	I	call	an	illuminated	“writedness,”	where	artistic	and	aesthetic	endeavouring	is	the	articulation	of	contemplative	in/sight	(Laude,	2004).	My	art	forms	the	shape	of	my	own	becoming	into	the	fullness	of	being.	I	experience	the	profundity	of	the	metaphysics	of	the	immediate	(Kearney,	2008),	fused	with	the	journeying	of	the	past	and	the	possibility	of	what	the	future	holds	in	the	hand	that	writes	this	soul-into-learning.	In	this	calling-into-becoming	is	where	I	am	experiencing	poetry	as	the	“science	of	the	Real”	(Emerson,	1982,	p.	265),	in	the	sheer	capacity	and	vastness	of	the	human	mind	exploring	its	own	horizons	opening	to	the	influx	of	inspiration,	of	light,	of	ecstasy	and	of	love	(Emerson,	1982).	To	participate	in	the	“science	of	the	Real”	is	where	I	document	a	raw	and	authentic	experiencing,	capturing	the	realness	of	what	I	am	encountering.		 I	conceptualize	my	(re)search	as	reaching	in	and	out	and	then	up,	with	a	heartbeat	of	inquiry	opening	into	an	embrace	that	is	enfolding	to	the	spiritual	ways	and	dimensions	of	knowing.	In	my	(re)search	as	a	questing	is	then	a	vertical	space	that	is	vast,	generous,	and	capacious,	and	I	imaginally	put	forth	this	Rhizome	in	the	Sky	with	each	understanding	becoming	a	point	of	light.	In	each	point	of	light	is	an	illumination,	a	newness,	and	this	is	where	I	experience	turning	points,	a	shifting	of	34		seeing	being.	Here,	I	am	living	forward	(Todres,	2007),	dwelling	in	the	textorium	of	a	sensual	attending,	of	exploring	places	in	the	in-between	of	“two	points	of	orientation,	hinting	at	meaning	that	is	not	quite	there	or	yet	unsaid”	(Springgay	et	al.,	2005,	p.	904).			 And	I	write	poetry	as	questing	towards	revealing	what	I	call	source,	where	this	light	that	Hafiz	speaks	of	is.	I	ring	the	bell	of	poetic	intentions	with	lyrics	that	I	imagine	resounding	in	space,	then	echoing.	In	poetic	encountering,	I	am	always	reaching	towards	a	transcendental	experiencing	that	becomes	a	lifting	of	writer,	of	word	and	of	world(s)−both	material	and	spiritual.	Thus,	in	the	horizontal	(the	earth)	meeting	the	vertical	(the	heavens)	is	the	cross	where	I	write	poems	that	transverse	my	own	inner	space	of	epiphanies	that	are	longitudinal	(Bateson,	1994),	which	brings	my	whole	being	and	breadth	of	experience	into	expression.	To	visualize	my	(re)searching	in	a	space	of	verticality	is	where	I	conceptualize	what	I	call	the	sky	of	inquiry,	a	place	of	infinite	possibility.	In	writing	poems	that	ruminate	both	on	the	natural	world	and	the	nature	of	my	being	is	where	I/eye	attend	to	the	nuances	of	my	living	breathing	inquiry,	tuning	in	to	the	subtlety	as	in	the	hues	of	the	morning	sky.	Herein,	I	see	spirit	existing	within	me	and	above	me.	 	 	 	 	 		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 And	the	sky	is	in	I/eye.			 Here	there	is	aeriality,	a	space	where	(re)search	is	mystical,	seeking,	and	perpetually	moving	as	clouds	that	undulate	softly	over	the	stoic	mountain	peak.	In	the	sky	of	inquiry	lies	the	potential	of	what	it	will	become	as	“imagination	by	its	nature	would	prefer	to	always	rise”	(Bachelard,	1988,	p.	ix).	And	moving	through	each	point	of	inquiry	as	it	comes	to	fruition	through	the	processes	and	conditions		35		that	arise	through	a/r/tographic	inquiry,	keeps	me	held	in	a	place	of	perpetual	reflective	attentiveness	(Steinbock,	2007).	Reaching	and	touching	the	next	stage	becomes	a	marker	of	journeying	through	the	(re)search;	each	point	of	light	is	a	“point	sublime”	(Breton,	as	cited	by	Hejinian,	2000,	p.	3);	the	metaphoric	wings	of	inquiry	open	on	the	inside.	And	I	relinquish	my	self	in	a	space	where	writing	“involves	the	whole	being	in	the	developing	stages	of	lightness”	(Bachelard,	1988,	p.	259).	This	lightness	of	being	is	towards	knowing	as	a	revelatory	pursuit.			 As	an	a/r/tographer,	I	take	up	the	invitation	to	contemplate	and	complicate	alternative	notions	of	space	and	time	(Irwin	&	Springgay,	2008,	p.	xx).	In	my	poem	“Rhizome	in	the	Sky,”	I	open	by	(re)imagining	and	(re)conceptualizing	Deleuze	and	Guattari’s	(1997)	metaphor	of	the	rhizome	with	its	interconnected	complexity,	multiplicity,	and	in-between	space.	I	then	take	these	underground	roots	that	deepen	down	in	the	dark	earth	and	I	place	them	in	the	sky	where	I	extend	these	lines	of	flight	into	points	of	light	with	the	branches	reaching	out	heavenward	on	an	endless	journey	of	perpetual	becomings.	I	methodologically	affirm	“any	elongated	form	reaches	out	toward	the	height,	[reaches]	toward	light”	(Bachelard,	1988,	p.	259).	In	the	symbolic	potency	of	the	poetic	image	through	the	lens	of	spiritual	revealing	is	where	the	transcendental	power	of	poetry	cannot	be	reduced	to	the	horizontal	(Laude,	2004).			 As	a	pilgrim	of	poetry,	I	travel	through	the	generative	power	of	the	metaphor	in	this	expansive	territory	where	I	experience	what	I	call	the	rhizomatic	revelations,	of	an	emptying	and	filling,	of	a	here	and	there,	of	a	receiving	and	a	letting	go,	of	unknowing	and	knowing.	And,	“it	is	thus	by	wandering,	and	playing	in	the	36		rhizomatic	liminal	passageways,	that	encounters	of	experiencing	difference	mark	the	birth	of	newness”	(Hayes,	Sameshima	&	Watson,	2015,	p.	41).			 In	the	hermeneutic	rhythm	that	I	ride	in	this	creating	is	then	a	releasing	into	process	as	I	relinquish	my	words	willingly	into	the	vastness	of	the	eager	sky.	In	this	poetic	methodological	rumination	is	where	my	a/r/tography	becomes	performative,	heightened,	and	generates	a	momentum	that	carries	me	onwards	into	the	heart	of	this	dissertation.	And	in	this	aerial	space,	the	intention	of	my	poetic	offering	is	to	disrupt	the	notion	of	the	rhizome	as	an	underground	entity	that	then	enables	me	to	discover	the	transcendental	planes	of	my	poetic	process	as	a	spiritual	endeavouring.	In	this	poetic	methodological	rumination,	I	explore	the	source	and	the	spirit	of	my	artistic	desire.			 I	hope	that	this	poem	represents	the	potential	that	a	good	metaphor	has	for	arts-based	inquiry	and	there	continues	to	be	much	richness	here	for	me.	And	I	(re)mind	my	readers	of	the	(re)search	question:	What	does	it	mean	to	dwell	poetically?	Herein,	it	is	to	dance	in	the	rhizomean	spaces	of	possibility	(Deleuze	&	Guattari,	1987)	and	I	am	a	poet	whirling	with	words	on	the	thresholds	of	being	becoming	and	becoming	being.	 	 		 	 	 	 Now,	I	invite	you	to	come	with	me	lightward	bound.	Rhizome	in	the	Sky	7	I	am	breaking	ground		 in	this	(re)search		 	 with	my	hands																																																										7	Please	see	supplementary	audio	file	for	spoken	word	track	“Rhizome	in	the	Sky.”	37		Bare		 blood			 	 bulbous	Beauty	grasping		 the	sweet	soil	of	a	spiritual	labouring			 	 a	felt	sense	8		Knowing		 what	I	must	do		 	 to	uproot		The	rootedness		 of	the	rhizome	that	deepens	and	deepens		 	 downward	Into	the	dark	dank	earth		 on	which	I	pull	to	place		 	 into	the	open	eager	sky		Vulnerable			 lines	of	flight	reaching	out		 	 Heavenward		In	words		 rushing	riding	wings	9		 	 of	pure	poetic	desiring	Orbiting		 an	endless	journey	of		 	 vertical	becomings	branching		Up																																																											8	See	Gendlin	(2004)	for	a	rich	discussion	of	“felt	meaning”	and	“felt	intricacy.”	“Sometimes	the	sense	of	such	an	edge	is	already	there,	calling	for	our	attention,	but	usually	we	need	a	quiet	minute	of	attending	to	where	it	can	come”	(p.	130).		9		Dillard	(1989)	contemplates	about	the	practice	of	writing:	“The	lines	of	words	speeds	past	Jupiter	and	its	cumbrous,	dizzying	orbit...it	will	be	leaving	the	solar	system	soon...rushing	heaven	like	a	soul”	(p.	20).	38			 and	up			 	 	and	UP	like	the	waking	arms	of	the	dervish		 	 in	a	drunkenness	spinning	out	of	nothingness			 	 	 now	no	sobering		For	the	lover			 who	wants	to	press		 	 her	face	against	the	moon	10	And	paint	the	wisps	of	the	clouds		 leaving	soft	lingering			 	 impressions	Wanting	to	know		 the	stars		 	 Shining		Scattering			 words	like	pearls		 	 making	its	own	constellation	Suprasensual	supernova			 semiotic	spiritual	chain			 	 connecting		Cosmos		 eternally	into	language		 	 always	opening		Space		 stringing	together	into	the	ultimate		 	 order	of	things	Poetic	lines																																																										10	I	seek	inspiration	from	Rumi	(n.d.-b):	“At	night,	I	open	the	window/	and	ask	the	moon	to	come/	and	press	its	face	against	mine/	Breathe	into	me	(par.	1).	http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/144073-at-night-i-open-the-window-and-ask-the-moon	39			 that	tie			 	 back	into	each	other	Moving	with	hermeneutic	humility			 Heterogeneity			 	 of	a	musical	multiplicity	In		 me		 	 who		 Territorializes	11		 	 to	deterritorialize			 	 	 to	reterritorialize		Who	says	that	I	should	not	retrace?	12		 	 this	rupturing			 	 	 renews	Rhizomatic	revelations		 of	ruminative	relations		 	 there	is	joy	in	repetition	13	Being	in	the	in-between		 where	is	the	middle	of	the	sky?		 	 always	plateauing	in	poems	Into	a	line	of	flight		 	 points	of	light			 	 	 epiphany	Poetry																																																										11	See	Deleuze	and	Guattari	(1987):	“How	could	movements	of	deterritorialization	and	processes	of	reterritorialization	not	be	relative,	always	connected,	caught	up	in	one	another?”	(p.	10).			12	In	my	emphasis	on	(re)tracing	I	make	reference	to	Deleuze	and	Guattari	(1987)	who	state:	“Make	a	map,	not	a	tracing”	(p.	12).			13	Prince’s	(1986)	song	from	the	Graffiti	Bridge	album	entitled:	“There	is	Joy	in	Repetition”.		http://genius.com/Prince-joy-in-repetition-lyrics			40			 is	the	rhizome		 	 irrupting	on	the	inside	Waiting						 for	the	shooting	star		 	 that	showers	and	blesses	Wanting		 	(re)search	that	prefers			 	 to	rise	Methodologically		 towards	the	height	14		 	 into	the	light	of	human,	Being	Intimate	immensity	15		 	 becoming	intensity	16		 	 	 meeting	the	mystery	of	Aerial	dimensions		 demanding	the	vertical		 	 acknowledging	the	horizontal		Grounding			 must	come		 	 before	the	lifting	As	the	ocean																																																										14	As	Bachelard	(1988)	writes	that	“any	elongated	form	reaches	out	towards	the	height,	toward	the	light”	(p.	259),	he	ruminates	on	the	verticality	of	a	song/poem	and	the	potent	affect	it	has	on	the	human	soul.	In	this	space	is	an	unfolding	into	“pure,	luminous	air”.	This	poem	is,	in	part,	an	exploration	into	this	process	of	unfolding	and	the	transcendent	dimensions	of	Being.		15	Bachelard	(1969)	writes:	“Poets	help	us	discover	within	ourselves	such	joy	in	looking	that	sometimes,	in	the	presence	of	a	perfectly	familiar	object,	we	experience	an	extension	of	our	intimate	space…If	you	want	to	achieve	the	existence	of	a	tree,	invest	it	with	inner	space,	this	space	that	has	its	being	in	you”	(p.	199).			16	See	Irwin	(2013)	for	a	provocative	description	of	becoming-intensity,	becoming	movement	and	becoming-event	as	three	rhizomatically	connected	conceptions	of	becoming	a/r/tography.		41			 warms	to	the	sun	patterns			 	 playing	tender	light	awakening	Water	that	lifts	from	the	deep		 only	to	return		 	 as	the	rain		 	I	meet	the	cross		 	 of	vertical	and	horizontal		 	 	 intentions	The	best	and	the	worst		 in	my	rhizome			 	 too	17	Potato		 couchgrass		 	 weeds	Tornadoes		 torrential	rains		 	 heat	strokes	Wind		 is	where		 	 I	enter	To	know	the	pain		 of	reknowing		 	 remembering	(Re)encountering		 the	Real		 	 bringing	grace	Unfurling	hands		 with	imprinted	lines	of	history																																																										17	I	reference	Deleuze	and	Guattari’s	(1987)	conception	of	the	rhizome:	“The	rhizome	includes	the	best	and	the	worst:	potato	and	couchgrass,	or	the	weed”	(p.	7).		42			 	 touching	the	sky	Smooth	space	18		 for	a	pilgrim	of	poetry		 	 who	dares	desire	Climbing	the	words		 imaging	the	world		 	 mirroring	What	does	comes	first		 the	image	or	the	word?		 	 crystallizing	into	The	shape	of	me		 forming		 	 poems	are	the	inquiry	19	Riding	her	own	melting	20		 In	You		 	 Unfolding	Surprise	in	a	line		 of	chance		 	 crossing	thresholds	On	threshold		 burning			 	 up	To	the	sun’s		 revelatory	rays																																																											18	See	Massumi’s	forward	in	Deleuze	and	Guattari	(1987):	“Nomad	space	is	‘smooth,’	or	open-ended.	One	can	rise	up	at	any	point	and	move	to	any	other.	Its	mode	of	distribution	is	the	nomos:	arraying	oneself	in	an	open	space”	(p.	xiii).			19	See	Richardson	(2000)	for	her	notion	of	qualitative	research	wherein	writing,	itself,	is	the	inquiry.		20	Frost	(1939/2007)	writes	in	his	theory	of	poetry	entitled	“The	figure	a	poem	makes”	that	“like	a	piece	of	ice	on	a	hot	stove,	the	poem	must	ride	its	own	melting”	(p.	1156).		43			 	 shining	Lightness	upon		 Lightness	of			 	 Lightness	to	 	The	promise		 and	pedagogical	possibility	21		 	 of	journeying	through	Inner	Space			 capaciously	creative		 	 commitment	to	the	curricular		Conations	of	connotations		 	 colliding	into	the	horizons	of	a	mind		 	 	 seeking	contemplative	endeavouring		An	infinite	meditation	on	22			 the	colours	of	the	changing	sky	 		 	 attuning	to	the	hue	of	a	heart	 	 	Circling			 endless			 	 seeds	of	new	creation	Blooming	into	petals	reaching			 	 	 Up	and	up		 	 	 	 and	UP	Embodying	the	life	world		 in	words	of	place	and	space		 	 that	trace	The	nature	of	human																																																										21	I	am	inspired	by	Leggo’s	(2014)	notion	of	“pedagogical	hopefulness”	(C.	Leggo,	personal	communication,	Dec	11th,	2014).		22	Merleau-Ponty	(2002,	p.	xxii)	referencing	Husserl	writes	of	phenomenological	inquiry	as	an	“infinite	meditation”	towards	revealing	the	nature	of	the	world.	44			 becoming			 	 living	into	the	questions	23		Fatefully		 faith			 	 fully		Coming	in	moments		 of	the	I/eye	that	opens		 	 And	closes	And	opens		 and	closes		 	 to	the	brightness	Entering			 luminous	moon		 	 in	me	Transforming		 typography		 	 dancing		To	music		 moving	sky		 	 reverie	revealing	The	heaven		 of	textual	motivations		 	 mounting	above	the	clouds	Carried	by	conjunctions		 of	astronomical	and		 	 aerial	affirmations	And																																																										23	Rilke	(1984),	in	Letters	to	a	Young	Poet:“Live	the	questions	now.	Perhaps	then,	someday	far	in	the	future,	you	will	gradually,	without	even	noticing	it,	live	your	way	into	the	answer”	(p.	35).	45			 And			 	 And…	Awe		 opening	to	love										 	 in	vertical	giving	 	 	Listening			 to	the	melody		 	 of	my	breathing	24	Rhythm	and	rhyming		 word	and	word		 	 less	Language	homing		 in	the	soul		 	 encountering		Newness		 cleansing		 	 washing	Over	and			 over	and			 	 over	Methodological		 meditative			 	 praxis		Personal		 poetical			 	 phenomenological	Parallactic																																																											24	Shams	Tabrizi	(n.d.)	in	his	devotional	qasida,	“Dam	Hama	Dam	Ali	Ali”,	writes:	“The	melody	of	my	breathing	is	Ali,	Ali”.	http://ismaili.net/qasidas/dam02.html		46			 galactic		 	 potential	Of	lyrical	lines		 descending		 	 then	ascending	Then	transcending		 I/eye		 	 (re)turning	into	sensual	being	Always	in	the	middle		 of…		 	 some	thing	Waiting	for	the	heart		 to	strike		 	 sublimity	In	the	stars		 that	need	us		 	 to	witness	Their	glowing		 eye/I	 	 		 	 am	half	my	poems	And	half	me		 	 but	always			 	 	 Thou	Theophany	25		 	 towards			 	 	 (re)search	That	requires		 rotating																																																										25	By	“theophany”	I	refer	to	the	manifestation	of	Spirit	to	a	human	being	that	becomes	tangible	and	knowable.	Herein,	I	contextualize	this	(re)search	as	a	revelatory	praxis;	a	materialization	of	a	spiritual	endeavouring.		47			 	 into	the	keenness	of	seeing		A	revolution		 revolving			 	 in	soul	(re)knowing		Remembrance	to		 witness		 	 withness			I	AM		 a	hand		 	 to	the	heavens	And	the			 other		 	 to	the	earth	Drawing	lines		 in	the	sand			 	 to	see	it		Reflected	above		 in	celestial	clarity		 	 this	line	that	holds	she	Rooted	in	the	axis		 that	cuts	and	runs		 	 through	her	centering		This		 is	my	schooling		 	 in	slowness	Now		 turning		 	 in	To	poetry		 (re)turning	back	into		 	 me			48		Turning		 into	each	line		 	 lingering		Leaving	signs		 of	my	whirling		 	 undulating	Swirling	Starry	Starry	Night	26		 dissolving			 	 to	the	Great	Sun		In	which	eventually		 I	will	too		 	 subside	27	Herein	is	my	breathing			 	 in	to	exhaling	out	to		 	 	 naming	of	and	claiming		This			 and			 	 that:			“My	soul	is	from	elsewhere		 	 and	I	intend	to		 	 	 end			 	 	 	 Up		 	 	 	 	 there.”	28																																																												26	I	make	reference	to	both	Van	Gogh’s	(1889)	The	Starry	Night	and	Mclean’s	(1971)	lyrics	to	“Vincent”.	http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/donmclean/vincentstarrystarrynight.html		27	I	am	inspired	by	the	climactic	ending	of	Attar’s	(1889)	mystical	allegorical	poem,	Conference	of	the	Birds:	“Rays	that	have	wander'd	into	Darkness	wide	Return,	and	back	into	your	Sun	subside”	(par.	79).		28	Rumi	in	Barks,	1997,	p.	2.	49		Point	of	Light:	Fire	in	My	Eyes		 With	fire	in	my	eyes	29		 and	time	on	my	side		 I	am	letting	go	of		 all	the	fear	in	my	life		 morning	air		 it	embraces	me		 breath	is	life		 sweet	reverie		 Soul	is	open	I	could	fly		 Soul	is	open	I	could	die…		 	 	 	 (Rajabali,	2004,	track	4)			 The	wound…that’s	where	the	light	enters	you.			 	 	 	 	(Rumi,	as	cited	in	Barks,	1995,	p.	142)		 	 	 		 I	have	been	a	pilgrim	of	poetry	journeying	through	my	life	lyrically	on	an	intimate	path	of	mystery	and	discovery,	of	lightness	and	darkness,	of	music	and	echoing	silences	that	play	the	inner	strings	of	my	soul.	I	have	relinquished	myself	to	this	path	of	creativity	in	all	its	duality,	in	both	times	of	elation	and	in	sorrow	and	in	knowing	that	it	is	here,	that	I	most	profoundly	experience	self	reconnecting	with	the	soul’s	rhythmic	vibrations.	I	am	on	a	whirling	musical	journey	inspired	by	seeking,	in	the	unity	and	wholeness	of	poetry	that	keeps	me	writing	and	moving	as	it	gives	in	light,	love,	purpose	and	wisdom.	I	am	keenly	a	sovereign	surveyor	(Kates,	2005)	of																																																									29	“Fire	in	my	Eyes”	is	part	of	a	collection	of	songs	for	which	I	was	the	lyricist.	This	body	of	work	can	be	found	on:	http://www.yasminemusic.com		50		my	life	writing	into	(re)search	that	documents	my	personal	questing	of	a	work	that	becomes	an	odyssey	(Denzin,	2008),	of	an	intellectual	and	spiritual	wandering.	I	meander	purposefully,	always	in	attentiveness	to	the	music	of	the	nuance.		 I	open	with	a	verse	from	“Fire	in	My	Eyes”	as	it	was	a	pivotal	moment	in	my	embodied	experience	of	travelling	through	poetic	expression	where	I	had	a	deep	felt	sense	of	“Divine	heightened”	(Morrison,	2009,	p.	89),	and	where	the	flickering	flames	of	poetry	reached	out,	embraced	me,	and	held	me	in	its	merciful	grace.	I	was	the	moth	that	not	only	had	singed	my	wings,	but	that	had	entered	the	spirit-filled	flame	even	momentarily.	Inayat	Khan	(1978,	p.	108)	writes:		Moth:	I	gave	you	my	life.	Flame:	I	allowed	you	to	kiss	me.		 In	that	moment	as	I	had	evoked	the	state	of	my	life	world,	the	words	catalyzed	me	into	a	state	of	healing,	or	becoming	to	heal,	and	I	somehow	emerged	from	my	pain	and	was	lifted	above	in	clarity.	At	that	time,	I	had	been	writing	out	of	wounds,	first	physical	ones	leading	to	emotional	and	spiritual	ones	that	removed	me	seemingly	from	who	I	was	and	who	I	could	become.	I	was	injured	and	could	not	see	in	front	of	me.	However,	in	my	pain,	I	had	forgotten	to	remember	that	I	was	still	in	becoming	and	that	there	was	purpose	here	in	this	place	of	my	life—this	space	of	a	small	studio	downtown	apartment	with	its	yellow	walls	that	were	to	bring	inspiration,	to	bring	the	sun	“in.”	I	was	residing	in	the	liminal,	experiencing	the	in-between,	a	place	of	disruption	on	the	thresholds	of	waiting	and	wanting.		 More	than	my	physical	surroundings,	I	had	felt	smallness	in	the	world	with	an	unnamed	purpose	that	was	yearning	and	burning	in	me,	and	this	despair	had	led	51		to	darkness	that	consumed	me	in	its	own	echoing.	In	reflection,	it	was	through	the	dark,	in	the	absence	of	the	light,	where	both	the	ontological	significance	(Levin,	1988)	and	spiritual	purpose	of	darkness	reside.	Somehow,	I	was	being	led	into	some	lightness,	a	little	opening	that	sparked	my	heart.	Here	is	where	this	soul-song	shone	in	lucent	lyrical	light	becoming	a	conduit	for	courage	and	the	“wound	became	an	entry	point	to	spirit”	(Denton,	2006,	p.	131).	The	mystics	write	that	in	the	rose’s	thorns	is	the	most	beauty	and,	yes,	I	had	been	covered	in	these	thorns—	raw	flesh	wounds	scarring	my	soul	and	my	vision.	I	could	not	see	through	them.	I	could	not	understand	why.	And	somehow,	there	was	this	keen	moment,	a	moment	that	came	after	so	many	years	of	waiting	for	change,	for	a	spark,	for	this	light.	And	then	there	was	this	interception—almost	an	intervention—when	some	thing	arose	in	me	and	I	had	the	sheer	clarity	to	answer	that	calling.	Now,	I	understand	these	wounds	of	wisdom.		 	 	 	 	 	 The	harder	she	fell,	the	higher	she	climbed		 	 	 	 	 	 And	now	she	is	shining		 	 	 	 	 	 Bright.		 	 	 	 		 In	the	rawness	of	the	wound,	in	the	place	of	vulnerability,	came	vibrations	humming	with	a	lyrical	intention	and	in	this	turning	to	the	words,	brought	forth	the	poetry	and	myself	into	an	impassioned	moment	of	a	shining	(Heidegger,	1971),	an	emerging	from	and	out.	Hitherto,	here	were	the	verses	and	here	was	I,	and	I	am	song	and	it	is	me.	After	many	years	of	physical,	emotional,	and	spiritual	struggle,	writing	became	an	act	to	reclaiming,	to	remembering,	to	revealing	the	fire	that	I	had	in	my	eyes—this	fire	being	my	spirit.	In	the	epiphanic	chorus	of	“Fire	in	my	Eyes,”	I	52		proclaimed	to	the	world	to	take	witness	to	the	resiliency	of	my	life	call.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Yes,	I	AM	here.			 It	is	in	the	keenness	of	this	moment,	over	a	decade	ago,	where	this	questing	begins	and	where	I	started	to	know	poetry	as	writing	into	the	light,	a	light	that	gives	and	generates	and	radiates.	This	is	where	the	grace	is,	in	the	beauty	of	an	understanding	that	changes	who	you	can	become.	And	in	this	calling	is	where	my	education	begins	of	a	soul’s	schooling	towards	knowing	itself	through	words	and	world(s).	And	I	(re)listen	to	the	album	The	Miseducation	of	Lauryn	Hill	(1998,	track	14)	where	she	sings	in	the	music	of	her	own	experiencing:	“And	deep	in	my	heart	/	The	answer	it	was	in	me	/	And	I	made	up	my	mind	/	To	define	my	own	destiny.”30			 It	was	in	this	one	enigmatic	moment	of	my	creating	words	which	seemed	to	be	almost	too	simplistic,	but	in	this	simplicity	came	the	essence	of	what	I	was	experiencing	in	a	tuning	in	to	me.	And	like	a	melody	that	rises	into	the	sky,	this	was	an	elevated	place	of	being,	and	this	was	more	than	words.	Alone,	in	a	vulnerability	that	was	vibrant,	became	a	precursor	to	the	verses	of	“Fire	in	My	Eyes”	that	brought	me	to	a	place	of	hope	and	humbling.	It	was	the	beginning,	an	opening,	a	crack	of	light	(Cohen,	1992),	of	what	was	to	follow	and	what	I	was	meant	to	also	follow	on	this	line	of	desire	and	discovery.	And	I	am	following:	 	 	 	 	 		 	 	 	 	 	 	 Up		 	 	 	 	 	 Up	 	 	 	 	 		 	 	 	 	 Up	 	 	 	 	 																																																										30	These	lyrics	are	from	Lauryn	Hill’s	final	track	on	her	album	sharing	the	same	title:	“The	Miseducation	of	Lauryn	Hill.”	See	YouTube	for	the	full	song:	https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRUba8smRj0	53		With	each	word	was	a	taking	in	and	letting	go	and	with	each	word,	brought	tears	and	thanks;	this	writing	space	being	a	salvation	of	the	most	exquisite	kind.	In	documenting	my	own	experience	of	dwelling	in	the	poetic	I/eye,	I	begin	with	this	experience	as	it	was	a	pivotal	moment	that	sparked	the	line	of	this	inquiry.	In	my	literacy	of	light,	I	began	to	see	and	feel	what	this	light	is	and	it	is	not	that	I	had	lost	the	light,	I	recognize	that	now.	In	poetry	I	had	(re)turned	to	IT.			 	 	 	 And	I	wonder	now,	what	if	I	had	not	written	these	words?			 But	I	had	somehow	stopped	and	listened	and	attended	to	what	I	have	come	to	know	as	the	melody	of	my	own	breathing	and	this	radiated	with	presence	and	possibility	that	then	“echo[ed]	within”	(Merleau-Ponty,	2002,	p.	369).	As	language	dually	reduced	into	essence	and	yet	heightened	the	experience,	this	song	could	not	capture	how	open	my	spirit	felt	to	this	body-world	conversation.	The	flesh	of	my	being	could	feel	the	trees	that	swayed	sensually	and	purposefully	to	the	wind	whose	gentle	caresses	I	too	experienced	with	“the	waves	of	newness”	(Bachelard,	1964,	p.	237)	and	renewal	that	washed	upon	my	soul.			 	 And	the	echoes	of	an	understanding	reverberate	in	the	wind	of	words.	The	wind	blows	ceremoniously	over	the	stilled	harbour	catapulting	heavenward	into	Van	Gogh’s	vibrantly	vulnerable	sky	I	feel	its	breath	enter	my	body	nestling	my	soul	with	its	soft	caress	54		when	did	I	become	the	wind?	when	did	it	become	Me?		 The	desire	towards	aesthetic	expression—to	claim	and	contain	on	the	page—is	to	acknowledge	the	capacity	in	which	expression	creates	not	only	being	(Bachelard,	1964)	but	also	becoming.	In	writing	my	consciousness	had	opened	and	shifted	to	a	place	where	I	gained	purpose	again	in	the	world,	a	world	that	reciprocates	(Abram,	1997,	p.	33)	as	much	as	I	do	the	world.	In	turn,	I	relinquished	to	the	dialogic	“dance	of	the	human	body	with	the	larger	body	of	the	earth”	(Searle,	2012,	p.	53).	“Fire	in	my	Eyes”	and	its	resonances	then	led	to	the	collection	of	songs	I	penned	in	order	to	proclaim	the	journey	of	a	soul	in	all	of	its	suffering,	crisis	of	faith,	struggle	with	identity,	questions	of	destiny	and	love’s	desire.		 	 	 	 		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 And	poetry	kindles	my	flame.			 In	retrospect,	this	process	was	my	own	(re)education,	my	humanization	into	learning	to	be	and	become.	In	the	cross	of	both	intentions,	I	started	to	breathe	softly	into	my	own	becoming	where	the	word	was	the	very	act	and	affirmation	of	being,	always	in	the	crux	of	patience	and	possibility.	It	was	in	this	space	of	puncturing	the	wounds	where	I	began	to	practice	living	inquiry	as	a	spiritual	evolution	through	both	critical	and	creative	dimensions	marked	by	faith.	In	this	awareness	was	a	“guard[ing]	against	the	lapse	of	forgetfulness”	(Lakhani,	2010,	p.	11).	I	began	to	remember	and	also	be	in	remembrance.	I	turned	my	very	being	to	poetry	and	started	writing	into	pain	and	onwards.	To	partake	in	poetic	expression	as	an	encountering	with	light	from	a	divine	source	is	where	epiphany	became	theophany,	to	recognize	the	Real.	In	this	space,	in	the	in-between	of	living	in	both	the	material	55		and	spiritual	worlds	is	where	poetic	knowledge	is	a	theoria	(Lakhani,	2010),	an	act	of	contemplation	to	witness	reality	in	its	sacred	presence,	to	realize	and	then	to	touch	what	IS.	In	poetic	awareness,	there	is	not	only	remembrance	but,	also,	reorientation	and	reintegration	to	the	centre	of	one’s	spiritual	source.	Through	the	very	absence,	there	is	a	presence	of	what	is	hidden,	coming	forth	in	the	interplay	of	light	flickering	with	the	dark.			 	 	 	 	 	 I	know	light	only	because	I	know	the	dark.	I	turned	to	Rumi	who	eloquently	wrote:			 I	am	so	small	that	I	can	barely	be	seen		 How	can	this	great	love	be	inside	of	me?		 Look	at	your	eyes.	They	are	small		 but	they	see	enormous	things.	(Barks,	1997,	p.	279)			In	Bachelard’s	(1964)	“intimate	immensity”	(p.	210)	of	poetry	I	choose	to	live,	personally	and	pedagogically,	in	the	potency	of	the	poetic	image	as	a	work	of	art	that	somehow	always	is	an	“infinite	solitude”	(Rilke,	1984,	p.	23).	To	be	in	poetic	desire	is	to	live	in	the	white	open	spaces	on	a	page	of	pure	intentioning	where	“writing	creates	a	space	that	belongs	to	the	unsayable”	(van	Manen,	2006,	p.	718).			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 IT	is	understood.			 To	then	study	poetry	is	to	acknowledge	that	in	the	alchemy	of	poetic	creation	is	something	that	cannot	be	reduced	or	named.	To	see	poetic	consciousness	as	a	revelation	is	to	consider	how	creativity	and	imagination	are	a	dialogic	with	what	is	divine	and	sublime.	And	I	make	“an	evocation	that	calls	out,	asking	for	a	response,	a	living	inquiry,	transforming	static	moments	into	momentum”	(Springgay	et	al.,	2005,	56		p.	907).	In	this	momentum	I	am	unfolding.	In	this	(re)searching	I	turn	to	Whyte	(1994)	who	writes	that	the	soul	“is	the	indefinable	essence	of	a	person’s	spirit	and	being”	(p.	13).	The	cognitive	and	emotional	shifting	to	a	spiritual	experience	that	draws	one	out	of	the	mode	of	the	mundane	to	a	contemplative	space	is	where	I	know	poetry	as	my	supplication.	The	mystic	and	poet	Hafiz	has	the	words	that	ignite	my	seeking	of:			 Poems	now	rising	in	great	white	flocks		 Against	my	mind’s	vast	hills		 Startled	by	God			 Breaking	a	branch		 When	his	foot		 Touches		 Earth		 Near		 Me.	(Ladinsky,	1999,	p.	21)			 And	thus,	as	a	soul-in-learning,	poetry	has	been	teaching	me	to	attend	to	its	calling	as	when	I	relinquish	to	the	lines,	I	am	brought	to	a	place	of	grace,	of	experiencing	what	I	know	as	the	rhizomatic	revelations.	Dwelling	in	the	poetic	I/Eye	is	a	living	loving	inquiry	(Shira,	2010)	that	while	placing	primacy	on	the	present	is	not	a	sobering	enterprise	but	indeed	a	“drunkenness	as	a	triumphant	irruption	of	the	plant	in	us”	(Deleuze	&	Guattari,	1987,	p.	9).	And	in	this	place	of	celebration	there	is	love	here.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	57			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 And	when	in	Love,		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 once	you	fall,		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 you	fall.		 	 	Revelation		I	see	a	lone	leaf	separating	From	the	Crimson	King	Maple	tree	Succumbing	to	the	gentle	bough	Of	the	warm	whirling	winds	Unfurling	In	one	last	revelatory	dance	Enclothed	by	the	merciful	sun	That	flickers	soft	patterns	onto	its	being	Like	the	light	that	enters	the	stain	glassed	Cathedral	dome	on	a	sacred	Sunday	Morning	I	want	to	be	that	lone	leaf	Revelling	in	the	sheer	exquisite	beauty	Of	being	purposefully	alive	before	Submitting	To	the	sweet	red	Earth	Upon	the	intricate	design	of	Creation							58		Point	of	Light:	Fate	Has	Brought	Me	to	Your	Door			 My	life	has	been	informed	and	inspired	by	mysticism	as	I	attend	to	living	esoterically,	spiritually,	poetically,	and	musically	in	a	space	of	in-seeing	(Rilke,	1984),	in-being	(Heidegger,	1985),	in-relation	to	and	of,	and	in	the	in-between.	In	conceptualizing	my	lyrical	living,	the	ethereal	dance	of	the	whirling	dervish	is	where	the	music	comes	from	within	and	the	reverberations	echo	outward	and	upwards.	In	this	slow	purpose-filled	generative	turning	is	where	poetic	inquiry	becomes	not	only	revelation	now,	but	also	a	radiance	that	lifts	my	being	with	the	promise	towards	the	light	of	self-knowledge.	As	I	documented	in	my	first	point	of	light,	“Fire”	fuelled	a	desire,	and	here	is	where	I	took	a	lyrical	turn.	That	is,	I	turned	in	myself	emotionally	bringing	me	onto	the	page.		 	 	 	 	 And	then	each	line	of	poetry	is	also	a	turning	into.	With	each	poetic	turn	in	this	contemplative	practice	are	moments	of	both	mediation	and	meditation.	A/r/tographic	seeking	allows	me	to	be	a	mystic	and	in	this	(re)search	that	is	a	performative	inquiry,	I	dance	with	words.	As	I	move	with/in	mystery	in	the	alchemy	that	enters	art,	I	am	in	understanding	of	both	faith	and	fate.	Here,	is	where	I	practice	a	spiritual	language	in	exercising	a	literacy	that	allows	me	to	see	some	thing	in	sheer	clarity.			 As	whirling	metaphorically	conceptualizes	my	poetic	practice,	I	participate	in	the	act	of	meaning	making	as	a	passing	through/in/out	bringing	forth	the	very	essence	of	the	inquiry.	To	see	the	process	to	knowing	as	a	journeying	is	where	this	questing	is	inspirited	with	the	whole	intention	of	body,	heart,	mind	and	soul.	And	59		who	I	am	is	a	product	of	where	I	am	in	this	space	and	time.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 And	here	is	ALL	of	me.	 	In	this	intimate	encountering	with	self	comes	the	complexity	of	a	life’s	history	and	also	its	destiny.	A/r/tographic	practice	as	spiritual	practice	acknowledges	the	past,	the	present	and	the	future,	as	well	as	the	vastness	of	a	moment	of	raw	living	inquiry	that,	in	its	nakedness	and	vibrating	vulnerability,	contains	the	narrative	of	a	life	that	has	been	lived,	is	living,	and	is	still	becoming.	This	is	the	line	of	flight	that	crosses	through	and	also	up.			 In	the	unfolding	rhythms	of	whirling	that	bring	discovery	of	self	and	thou,	the	dance	of	this	body-based	spiritual	hermeneutics	is	where,	for	me,	poetry	gives	a	deep	“felt	sense”	(Gendlin,	2004,	p.	133)	to	a	body	writing	the	world	as	“experiencing	[the]	experience”	(Hejinian,	2000,	p.	3).	Poetic	discourse	“offers	contemplative	attention	to	the	place	from	where	language	is	born”	(Galvin	&	Todres,	2009,	p.	314).	Thus,	this	language	is	a	primal	singing	to	and	of	the	world.				 I	(re)turn	to	my	body	of	song.	Over	a	decade	ago	I	first	witnessed	the	dervish	spin.	I	remember	how	this	female	dervish	gingerly	entered	the	centre	and	started	to	unfold	out	and	up	and	with	each	of	her	turns,	I	was	breathing	in	and	out.	As	she	gathered	momentum,	I	felt	her	luminosity.	What	was	stirring	in	her	was	stirring	in	me.	This	is	what	happened	in	the	in-between.	I	could	feel	my	heart	move	and	when	I	looked	at	her	feet,	how	she	was	lifting.		 After,	I	sat	with	a	strong	Americano	in	a	little	coffee	shop	by	a	window	where	I	could	peer	out	to	the	street.	I	didn’t	raise	my	head	at	all	as	the	words	gathered	their	own	momentum	turning	on	the	page,	they	came	in	lyrical	flow,	ready	and	ripe	60		for	song.	I	penned	my	soul-song	Sama	there.			 As	my	sister	Yasmine—the	voice	that	gives	the	melody,	music,	and	tenderness	to	my	songs—let	me	read	her	the	lyrics,	she	echoed	the	same	tune	I	had	held	in	my	mind	as	she	sang	“Sama,	Sama,	Sama”	back	to	me.	In	deep	reflection	on	that	moment,	I	think	of	two	sisters	holding	hands	now,	spinning.	How	in	the	studio,	this	language	of	longing	was	then	born,	a	language	speaking	of	separation	and	illumination,	a	language	that	sister	brings	into	the	spirit	of	a	song.	And	now	as	I	deeply	reflect	on	the	song	“Sama,”	I	contemplate	the	meta-layers.	The	lyrics	speak	of	the	dervish	turning	and	I	am	also	turning	on	the	page,	the	words	are	moving,	and	here	everything	is	a	(re)turning.	 	And	it	was	Rumi’s	verse	of	the	lover	at	the	door	of	the	Beloved31	that	this	song	speaks	of.				 	 	 	 	 	 	 Please,	please	just	open	the	door?		 	 	 	 	 	 	 I	am	knocking	from	the	inside.	 	Sama	32	(Rajabali,	Rajabali,	&	Cruz,	2004)		Lost	within	my	youth	I’m	yearning	for	your	fruit	My	Beloved	I	search	for	Night	and	day	I	pray,	I	pray,	I	pray		Fate	has	brought	me	to	your	door	Dry	my	tears	don’t	want	to	cry	no	more	Gently	knock	but	you	turn	me	away																																																									31	Rumi	writes	of	a	lover	knocking	at	the	door	of	the	Beloved	and	when	asked	who	is	there,	he	exclaims,	it	is	“I”.	After	years	of	search,	he	returns	and	knocks	again.	When	asked	who	is	there,	he	exclaims	“It	is	Thou”.	The	door,	it	opens	(Rumi	in	Waley’s	(1993)	Sufism:	The	Alchemy	of	the	Heart,	p.	45).	32	Please	see	supplementary	audio	file	for	song	“Sama.”	61		No	room	for	you	and	I	in	this	place		I	search	the	valleys	of	my	heart	In	my	soul,	within	my	mind	If	you	seek,	then	you	shall	find	Where	the	light	was	once	confined			 Dance	on	earth	to	the	heavens	Arms	outstretched,	unforbidden	Dance	as	the	spirit	moves	through	you	Love	Divine,	Eternal	and	True	Sama,	Sama,	Sama		This	journey	is	almost	complete	I	now	understand	His	gift	It	is	neither	me	nor	He	We	are	one	Eternally…			 Dance	on	earth	to	the	heavens	Arms	outstretched,	unforbidden	Dance	as	the	spirit	moves	through	you	Love	Divine,	Eternal	and	True	Sama,	Fana33,	Sama		Once	again	I	am	at	your	door	The	you	in	me	is	what	I	was	looking	for	You	let	me	in	and	I	am	consumed	In	the	love	of	you	My	inner	being	has	been	moved	And	I	am	now	You…																																																																	33	Fana	refers	to	fana-fillah,	the	act	of	merging	with	Spirit,	a	passing-away-in.			62		Point	of	Light:	No	One	Sees	You,	but	I/Eye	Do		 I	bring	to	light	here	Attar’s	(1889)	luminous	spiritual	allegory,	Conference	of	the	Birds,	where	thirty	birds	of	the	world	are	seeking	the	king	who	is	called	the	Simurgh.	The	birds,	in	their	diversity,	share	a	common	quest	as	pilgrims,	journeying	through	the	various	stages	of	their	arduous	questing	in	which	their	pains	and	pleasures	are	animated	in	order	to	depict	the	outer	and	inner	landscapes	they	traverse.	The	layers	of	their	seeking	become	the	seven	valleys	of	knowing	where	this	journey	of	the	soul	in	Attar’s	cosmic	imagery	gives	colour	to	a	wordless	experience	in	which	the	supreme	quest	is	the	truth	about	their	own	identity.	In	the	end,	in	what	is	called	the	valley	of	annihilation,	in	the	“collision	of	light	and	life,	the	thirty	birds	see	what	appears	to	be	the	king	they	sought	in	one	instance,	and	in	the	next	a	reflection	of	their	own	image”	(Keshavaraz,	2006,	p.	112).	In	finding	the	very	unity	beneath	their	superficial	diversity,	the	birds	are	brought	to	a	path	of	illumination	and	in	its	threshold,	they	rise	against	the	planes	of	common	life	and	not	only	come	closer	to	touch	the	divinity	of	all	things,	but	merge	with	it,	and	“I”	becomes	“Thou.”	In	the	sensuous	intensity	of	this	metaphoric	journey	that	Attar	creates,	we	feel	that	he	lived	the	mysteries	he	conveyed	and	in	his	poetic	imagination	the	lover	is	seeking	the	Beloved,	becoming	each	other,	fulfilling	the	very	intention	of	a	soul’s	longing.	I	bring	forth	this	allegory	as	it	gives	spirit	to	my	poetic	consciousness,	one	in	which,	as	in	the	birds	pilgrimage,	I	seek	this	mergence	of	“light	and	life”	in	words	journeying	inwards	as	I	move	softly	through	my	evolving	worlds.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 And	I	feel	like	a	little	bird		63			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Fly	fly			 	 	 	 	 	 	 Flying	Through	the	mergence,	there	is	then	emergence	in	the	veritable	awakening	of	the	light	of	poetic	creation	(Bachelard,	1964)	and	poetry	becomes	nothing	less	but	a	commitment	to	heed	the	soul’s	rhythms:	In	your	Light,	I	learn	how	to	love	In	your	beauty,	how	to	make	poems	You	dance	inside	my	chest	Where	no	one	sees	you,	But	sometimes	I	do,		And	that	sight	becomes	this	art.	(Rumi,	as	cited	in	Barks,	2003,	p.	7)	In	this	vision	is	the	site	of	my	own	learning	life,	what	Lincoln	and	Denzin	(2005)	call	a	“sacred	pedagogical	practice”34	and	this	process	speaks	to	my	poetry	as	writing	with	one	hand	up	to	the	heavens	and	one	hand	down	to	the	earth.	I	am	in-seeking	of	balance	between	my	material	and	spiritual	life	in	knowing	that	each	aspect	nourishes	each	other	into	ethical	ways	of	being	in	the	world.	And	spirituality	is	a	way	of	engaging	in	the	world	where	faith	and	world	are	infused	and	poetry	is	giving	of	this	balance.	Here,	there	is	always	this	balancing,	a	negotiating	of	words	and	space,	of	form	and	content,	of	self	and	whom	I	may	write	of	in	authentic	ways.	In	writing	that	is	beauty	and	blood,	I	am	witnessing	and	allowing	this	pulse	of	process	as	“it	becomes	flesh,	the	flesh,	itself,	becoming	the	world”	(Irigaray,	2002,	p.	11).	There	is	a	breaking	down	of	boundaries	between	the	outer	and	the	inner	opening	up																																																									34	I	am	also	inspired	by	Bickel’s	(2008)	work	on	a/r/tography	as	ritual	and	sacred	aesthetic.		64		a	new	world	(Rosenblatt,	1978),	and	in	this	dissertation,	I	document	my	poetics	of	vision.	I	am	breaking	layers	of	myself	like	shattering	ice,	entering	into	the	cold	waters	only	then	to	be	warmed	by	the	sun’s	merciful	glow.	 	 	 	 		 I	relinquish	and	breathe	into	the	third	spaces	(Bhaba,	1990),	as	painful	as	it	may	be,	as	each	layer	gives	in	generative	depths	of	meanings	and	I	am	somehow	always	lifted,	seeking	brings	solace.	I	pay	keen	attention	to	the	third	entity	that	enters	this	inquiry,	that	unveils	the	mysterious	even	momentarily,	that	ebbs	and	flow	in	the	in-between	of	what	is	hidden	and	revealed,	of	what	I	am	coming	to	know	as	The	Real.	Therein,	in	this	third	space,	there	is	perhaps	what	I	can	refer	to	as	the	third	gaze,	a	gaze	that	comes	from	within,	a	gaze	that	then	allows	me	to	SPIN.	I	Write	Poetry		The	Sufis	spin	in	remembrance	of	God	yearning	to	fill	the	heart	with	Love	a	hand	towards	the	heavens	the	other	down	wards	to	the	earth	I	have	seen	them	spinning	sublime	swirling		cloaked	cloud	butterflies	a	whirling		womb	of	wondering	wanting	lifting	till	only	the	Heart	remains	now	65		Luminous.		I	cannot	spin	I	am	clumsy	without	balance	or		grounding		So,		I	write	poetry.	to	stir	the	heart	of	what		lies	within		I	write	poetry		to	Spin		 Like	de	Cosson	(2002)	who	claims	that	he	is	“(researching)	the	process	of	my	doing”	(p.	132),	“I	am	researching	the	process	of	my	doing	and	of	my	not	doing,”	to	submit	and	honour	this	third	gaze,	of	a	source	enshrouded	with	mystery,	where	searching	is	boundless.	This	is	desire	that	becomes	and	then	becomes.	In	my	“pedagogy	of	being	becoming”	(de	Cosson,	2002,	p.	128),	I	render	to	always	being	in	place	of	processing,	in	this	whirling	womb	of	wonder	and	wanting.	In	my	pedagogy	of	becoming,	I	am	then	learning	to	actualize	my	full	being.	As	Denton	(2006)	writes	of	her	wounds	as	informing	her	practice	of	the	heart,	she	“catalyzes”	her	exploration	through	poetry	and	as	I	“catalyze,”	I	also	musicalize,	lyricalize,	verticalize	and	spiritualize	my	own	(re)search	as	a	spirited	site	of	deepening	understandings	of	the	soul	of	the	poetic	experience.	In	this	breath,	I	am	in-theorizing35	how	spirit																																																									35	As	in	my	poetry	and	lyrics,	my	theorizing	shares	the	same	processes	of	inquiry.	That	is,	through	the	reaching	in	and	then	out,	I	gain	the	vision	that	enables	me	to	keep	moving	forward	in	my	(re)search.			66		continues	to	enter	my	a/r/tographic	praxis.	My	methodological	calling	to	a/r/tography	is	that	the	act	of	searching	is	an	expression	of	my	faith.		And	spirit	is	always	becoming.	 	 	 		I	am	a	Flicker	From	Your	Flame		I	am	a	flicker	from	your	flame	which	illuminates	my	core	The	very	utterance	of	your	name	speaks	to	my	very	soul	My	heart	beats	in	rhythm	to	every	step	you	take	This	pain	of	separation,	yet	I	silently	wait			The	wind	blows	ceremoniously	over	the	blue	harbour	The	trees	stand	graciously	into	a	warm	salute	And	as	the	shade	of	the	sky	transforms	to	a	brilliant	hue	The	earth	resonates:	Allahu,	Allahu—the	source	of	light	is	You		My	eyes	need	not	open	as	it’s	the	heart	that	embraces	you	And	as	you	make	your	presence	clear,	love	itself	fills	the	room	There	is	no	future	or	no	past,	just	the	stillness	of	this	moment	Every	cell	in	my	being	Awake,	no	longer	dormant		Oh,	I	am	just	a	ripple	and	you,	the	tide	that	brings	me	home	Oh,	I	am	just	an	lonely	vessel	sailing	towards	your	shore	Grant	me	wisdom	to	seek	the	truth	in	both	the	worlds	I	live	Your	guiding	light,	merciful	eyes,	your	benevolence		As	I	am	a	flicker	from	your	flame	which	illuminates	my	core	The	very	utterance	of	your	name	speaks	to	my	very	soul	My	heart	beats	in	rhythm	to	every	step	you	take	This	pain	of	separation,	yet	I	silently	wait				67		Point	of	Light:	Sandals	in	the	Snow			 Like	a	piece	of	ice	on	a	hot	stove,	the	poem	must	ride	its	own	melting.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 (Frost,	1939/2007,	p.	1156)			 In	poetry	I	remember	places	of	being.	In	poetry	I	remember	being	in	places.	As	a	poet,	I	am	intrigued	with	how	poetry	holds	a	memory	in	the	embrace	of	its	words,	how	keen	moments	come	together,	crystallize	and	continue	to	give	in	the	remembrance	of	and	to	a	lifeworld.	I	offer	a	poem	and	theorize	its	layered	meanings	as	inspired	by	the	(re)generative	potential	of	poetic	awareness,	in	the	very	givenness	that	poetry	can	bring.	Herein,	I	contextualize	poetry	as	“a	motion	of	the	soul”	(Heaney,	1995,	p.	192),	“an	orientation	of	the	spirit”	(Havel	as	cited	in	Heaney,	p.	4),	where	verse	is	guided	by	the	desire	to	not	only	know	what	is	Real,	but	to	remember	the	human	experience	as	it	is	being.	In	the	soul	of	poetic	knowing	is	this	remembering.	Moreover,	in	poetry	as	a	spiritual	praxis,	there	is	both	critical	and	creative	communion	with	self	marked	by	faith	and	remembrance.	Within	this	process	of	spiritual	hermeneutics,	I	opened	with	Frost	who	writes	of	poetic	lines	as	a	purposeful	descension	unto	itself,	whereby	I	contemplate	this	unfolding	of	each	poetic	line	melting	into	pools	of	self	reflection:	a	(re)turning.	In	poetry	as	witness	(Bachelard,	1964;	Kramer,	2016),	I	propose	poetry	as	“withness,”	in	the	unity	that	a	poem	can	bring,	in	a	oneness	of	space	and	time.	It	is	in	the	retelling	that	crystallizes	the	moments	with	a	vividness	that	allows	me	to	be	brought	back	to	the	centre	of	an	experience.	 	 	 	 		 Poetry	then	descends	to	transcend	the	experiencing	of	and	anchors	itself	68		somewhere	in	the	beyond	(Havel,	as	cited	in	Heaney,	1995).	The	integrity	of	a	poetic	seeking	lies	in	its	ability	to	be	both	very	much	here	and	there.	In	the	cross	of	this	horizontal	and	vertical	intention—in	the	primacy	of	the	present	and	in	the	resonances	that	echo	eternally—is	where	I	write	poetry.	Neilsen	Glenn	(2010)	writes	of	the	“infinite	relational	resonances”	(p.	6)	of	lyrical	expression	and	in	my	poem	as	lyric,	in	my	poem	as	bell	(Zwicky,	1992),	I	consider	the	resounding	notion	of	poetic	inquiry	as	awakening	and	reverberating	a	memory	that	resides	bone	deep	in	me.		 	 	 	 	 And	herein	is	how	poetry	winters	a	memory.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 							Harbouring	and	holding.		 In	my	poem	“Sandals	in	the	Snow”	I	claim	in	the	opening	verse,	in	fact,	that	I	do	not	remember	this	memory	of	the	first	falling	of	snow	that	my	mother	and	I	shared	and	witnessed	together.	It	is	through	her	telling	that	I	remember.	In	the	hush	of	that	sacred	snow	felted	morning,	a	memory	is	harboured.	In	the	writing	and	(re)telling	of	the	memory,	poetic	inquiry	strengthens	the	sensual	ability	to	(re)imagine	what	the	experience	holds.	I	propose	that	poetry	can	nurture	our	ruminative	relations	with	both	the	material	and	the	spiritual	world	and	all	that	encompasses	our	becomings.			 I	(re)turn	to	the	notion	of	“riding	its	own	melting”	(Frost,	1939/2007,	p.	1156)	and	how	I	had	a	“felt	sense”	(Gendlin,	2004)	of	knowing	and	how	the	body	moved	me	forward,	carried	me	through	negotiating	inward	and	outward	as	“the	capacity	of	language	is	rooted	in	the	human	body	as	reflexively	sensed	from	the	inside”	(p.	128).	In	my	body	as	poetic,	in	this	poetic	body	as	sensing,	I	attuned	to	the	69		openings	of	each	line	as	I	reached	to	touch	the	memory.	And	with	the	snowflakes,	I	tasted	and	experienced	in	and	through	my	poem	as	it	melted	upon	me	and	there	is	renewal.			 Rumi	writes:	“Be	melting	snow/Wash	yourself	of	yourself”	(as	cited	in	Barks,	1997,	p.	13),	and	in	this	concept	of	Oneness,	where	the	individual	flakes	melt	together	to	become	one	with	all,	is	the	wholeness	of	the	poem.	In	the	wholeness	that	poetry	might	bring,	in	this	notion	of	coherence	(Zwicky,	2005;	Shidmehr,	2014),	my	poetic	offering	is	“more”	(Gendlin,	2004)	than	method,	more	than	a	memory.	It	becomes	the	mother	I	write	of.	And:	 	 	 	 	 	 	Oh!	How	the	words	They	hold	Me	Now.		Sandals	in	the	Snow	36		My	mother	tells	me	of	A	memory	That	I	cannot	remember	But	is	bone	deep	in	me—	Like	the	cold	of	the	snow	On	that	wintery	day	in	Nanaimo	As	she	woke	to	witness	Her	first	fall	of	white	covering	Our	housing	complex	Alone	with	me	Far	from	the	African	tropical	rhythms	That	she	innately	knew																																																									36	Please	see	supplementary	audio	file	for	spoken	word	track	“Sandals	in	the	Snow.”	70		Now	muted	by	the	silence	of	the	snow	felted	Morning	A	hushing—	That	nature	will	bring			I	was	only	two	And	I	am	much	older	now	then	She	was	that	day	in	Nanaimo	I	imagine	Her	gingerly	opening	the	curtain	As	I	lay	sleeping	To	let	the	morning	light	in	To	only	see	the	white		Opening	eyes	peering	into	the	sky	Looking	up	and	up	Struck		With	wonder	Awaiting		She	wears	sandals	And	me	too	Not	knowing	the	cold	That	the	snow	will	bring	And	we	venture	outside	A	mother	and	a	child	In	the	warmth	of	a	shared	moment		That	I	recreate	now		A	felt	sense	of	a	memory	in	those	flakes	of	snow—	Of	a	little	red	jacket	In	the	white	pristine	A	pink	baby	tongue	tasting		Crystals	A	snow	angel	And	then		Me	Spinning	Arms	outstretched	Eyes	closed	Head	uplifted		Feeling	the		71		Melting		And	the	mother	Who	looks	on	And	on	Not	feeling	the	coldness	In	a	forgiving	embrace		With	the	grace	Nature	will	bring—	A	calming	In	the	lightness	Of	the	child	Now	That	she	will	teach	To	feel	the	Mystery	Of	IT	All.		 And	as	winter	brings	its	wonder	with	the	whirling	snow	in	which	I	have	become	a	part	of	now,	in	this	withness,	a	moment	is	crystallized	and	brought	into	its	own	lightedness.	In	the	writing,	what	has	guided	and	affirmed	my	(re)searching	is	an	“illuminated	rightness”	(Heaney,	1995,	p.	xvii)	that	moves	me	into	each	line.	It	is	the	soul	that	seeks	to	remember,	and	the	memory	is	now	held	in	clarity,	in	a	clearing	(Heidegger,	1971)	that	opens,	and	then	remains	open.	In	poetry	there	is	no	closing.	Poems	are	a	(re)search	site	that	desires	a	returning.	I	resonate	with	Richardson	(2000)	who	states	that	evocative	texts	can	be	conceptualized	as	crystals	and	in	this	central	imaginary,	“what	we	see	depends	on	the	angle	of	our	repose”	(p.	934).			 The	richness	of	the	poem	is	where	this	memory	rings	a	truth	that	stands	for,	and	in,	itself.	As	Heidegger	(1971)	writes:	“Truth	happens	in	the	temple’s	standing	where	it	is.	This	does	not	mean	that	something	is	correctly	represented	and	72		rendered	here,	but	that	what	is	as	whole	is	brought	into	unconcealedness	and	held	therein”	(p.	54).	The	“truth”	of	this	moment	is	the	presence	of	the	poem,	being	in	itself.	As	a	moth	entering	the	flame,	illumined	by	its	own	burning	as	a	becoming	into,	this	poem	is	me,	becoming.	Herein,	it	is	the	line	of	destiny	that	I	also	trace	where	in	poetry	I	gain	a	keener	understanding	of	where	I	am	now	and	why	I	am,	now,	as	an	a/r/tobiographer37	who	is	dedicating	a	life	to	“meeting	mystery”	(Todres,	2007,	p.	184)	in	poetry	as	a	spiritual	practice.	In	this	place	of	enchantment,	as	in	the	purity	of	the	pristine	snow,	is	where	“nature	wears	the	colour	of	the	spirit”	(Emerson,	1982,	p.	39)	and	the	mother	in	the	poetry	allows	me	to	feel	this	unity.	It	is	this	moment	that	teaches	a	life	as	the	snowflakes	diffuse	the	light.	I	have	come	to	know	my	(re)searching	as	a	poetics	of	light	where	my	scholarly	inquiry	is	a	“singing	out	in	lyrical	language	like	light	that	seeps	into	and	through	cracks	and	gaps”	(Leggo,	2006b,	p.	86).	In	the	whiteness	of	the	spaces	in	between	the	words,	the	desire	of	the	poet	lives	in	the	unsaid,	in	what	is	deeply	understood	in	silences	that	do	speak.			 In	“Sandals	in	the	Snow,”	I	am	spinning	and	in	its	momentum,	I	ruminate	on	the	notion	of	growing	into	the	light	that	Bachelard	(1988)	writes	about,	a	light	that	transforms	my	moving	being.	This	poem	is	born	from	this	energy.	In	the	poem	as	a	whirling,	a	hand	to	the	heavens	and	the	other	to	the	earth,	the	heart	is	stirred	through	spirit	as	poetry	and	poetry	as	spirit.	This	poem	embodies	both.	In	the																																																									37	I	remind	the	reader	of	my	notion	of	a/r/tobiography.	As	in	autobiography,	a/r/tobiographical	writing	narrates,	documents	and	reflects	on	the	personal	stories	of	my	artist,	researcher,	and	teacher	identities.	As	I	consider	a/r/tography	and	a/r/tobiography	interchangeable	terms	in	this	work,	the	stress	on	“biography”	details	various	aspects	of	a	life	and	the	explication	of	specific	intimate	experiences	that	illuminate	the	inquiry	at	hand.			73		silence	of	the	snow,	I	danced	to	the	“music	of	the	sky”	(Laude,	2004)	and	came	to	know	its	song	as	I	(Schuon,	2002).	In	the	song	that	is	I,	is	also	the	song	that	is	Thou.			 Herein,	in	this	poem	there	is	so	much	“more”	(Gendlin,	2004),	as	it	is	more	resilient	than	any	photograph,	has	more	integrity	in	the	imagery	that	gives	and	gives	in	its	imaginative	prowess.	This	is	a	(re)generative	space	in	a	poem	that	stands	in	its	own	shining,	reflecting,	and	refracting	light	outwards	and	inwards.	Hereby,	a	simple—almost	mundane—memory	of	a	mother	and	a	child	is	now	sacred,	and	in	the	winter	that	I	write	of,	this	poem	may	hibernate	for	a	while	to	be	remembered	with	each	and	every	snowfall,	again	and	again	and	again.		And,	wherein,	I	(re)affirm	now:	 	Each	day	I	get	a	little	closer	to	knowing	You,	Please		don’t	show	me	all	that	You	Are	I	want	to	be	forever	lost	in	the	music	of	You,	Revealing			74		Point	of	Light:	The	Dawning	of	Desire			 Dawn	of	Desire		 The	dawn	of	desire		 creeps	upon	the	morning		 merging	itself		 with	the	promise	of		 a	new	day		 the	morning	dew		 is	my	poetry		 quivering		 in	the	possibility		 of	what	is	to		 unfold		 relinquishing		 my	words		 to	the	vastness	of		 the	open	seamless		 sky		 In	the	sky	of	inquiry	I	conceptualize	my	(re)search	to	be	and	to	become.	In	this	schooling	in	slowness,	I	have	had	the	privilege	of	traversing	time	and	space	through	poetry,	and	in	this	place	poems	are	desire	clothed	in	form.	Heidegger	(n.d.,	par.	1)	eloquently	wrote:	“Longing	is	the	agony	of	the	nearness	of	the	distant.”	And	in	poetry,	I	am	perpetually	getting	closer	to	some	thing.	I	perceive	longing	as	the	very	impetus	of	poetic	intention,	that	is,	where	in	the	crux	of	wanting	is	the	desire	to	come	closer	to	the	“gaze	of	something	that	stares	back	at	us”	(van	Manen,	2002,	p.	75		5).	In	this	call	to	wonder	in	the	face	of	the	world	(Merleau-Ponty,	2007)	is	an	infinite	line	of	inquiry	that	is	fuelled	with	a	desire	to	gaze	inwards	at	oneself	in	relation	to	the	world	that	reciprocates	our	very	becoming	with	and	through	it.	In	the	longing	that	gives	rise	to	desiring	is	a	call	to	remembering.	This	becomes	a	dialogical	act	of	remembrance.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 I	only	exist	because	of	You.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 You	exist	because	I	do.		 Poetry	exists	in	the	world	of	the	spirit.	In	the	act	of	re(turning)	to	our	deepest	selves	is	where	poetry	becomes	a	sacred	space	to	live,	to	be	and	breathe	wherein	“the	world	of	becoming	is	the	one	in	which	we	become	ourselves;	the	world	where	our	understanding,	expression	and	creation	takes	place;	the	particularly	human	world	in	and	through	which	we	become	more	human”	(Fujita,	2002,	p.	132).	And	poetry	strengthens	the	human	spirit.	My	metaphor	of	the	sky	of	inquiry	represents	the	boundless	potential	in	which	I	climb	and	explore	these	terrains	of	time	and	space.	The	vastness	of	the	sky	that	is	in	eye/I,	speaks	to	the	sheer	capacity	of	the	human	mind.		 	I	contemplate	a	life	encountering	the	inner	desires	of	a	soul	that	wants	to	be	proclaimed,	(re)presenting	my	being	in	a	world	in	words.	My	poetry	is	always	reaching	towards	what	lies	at	the	ontological	core	of	being	between	the	interplay	of	reflection	and	memory	that	inspirits	the	intimacy	of	this	inquiry.	In	my	personal	investigation	where	I	conceptualize	poetry	as	scattering	into	an	“open	seamless	sky,”	vulnerability	reverberates	in	the	process	of	doing	and	releasing.	My	own	76		vulnerability	and	ability	to	document	my	journey	in	authentic	ways	is	the	integrity	of	this	(re)search.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 And	how	Desire	rises.		 		 In	my	poetry	I	experience	a	heightened	place,	a	nervous	space,	and	as	the	words	are	on	the	thresholds	of	becoming,	there	is	an	urgency	now	that	enters	my	being.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 I	must	write	THIS.		In	a	longing	to	know	is	to	be	“vulnerable	to	the	givenness	of	what	is	giving	itself	in	its	[own]	self-givenness”	(Steinbock,	2007,	p.	5).	And	poetry	is	a	dialogue	with	desire	between	the	writer	who	brings	her	full	intention	and	attention	to	the	page	and	what	it	is	that	also	needs	to	be	known.	In	dwelling	in	my	poetic	I/eye,	I	am	learning,	is	where	every	thing	is	giving.		 	 	 		 To	subject	one’s	self	to	the	experience	of	writing	is	to	be	the	subject	of	the	inquiry	(Richardson,	2000).	As	Frost	(1939/2007)	conceptualizes,	a	poem	like	ice	that	melts	upon	oneself	into	reflective	waters	signifies	the	changes	of	a	material	form	that	then	takes	on	another	shape.	As	knowing	takes	the	shape	of	understanding,	I	resonate	with	hooks	(1999)	who	states	that	writing	“is	a	way	to	experience	the	ecstatic	.	.	.	when	I	am	immersed	so	deeply	in	the	act	of	thinking	and	writing	everything	else,	even	flesh,	falls	away”	(p.	35).	In	this	falling	away	of	flesh	I	am	standing,	left	with	the	bones	of	inquiry,	bare	but	strong.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 This	is	my	transformation.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Ice	into	water		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Flesh	into	bone.	77		The	beauty	of	poetry	lies	in	the	yearning,	an	intimate	journey	that	revels	in	the	drunkenness	of	drawing	closer	to	the	gaze	of	something	that	one	cannot	fully	know,	but	that	keeps	one	held.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 I	am	holding	a	pen	holding	Desire.			 And	the	lines	of	poetry	are	lined	with	the	hope	that	something	will	purposefully	reveal	through	the	intention	to	know	it,	to	claim	it,	to	name	it.	As	Bachelard	(1969)	writes,	poetic	reverie	is	where	“all	senses	awaken	and	fall	in	harmony”	(p.	6),	and	I	contextualize	this	“drunkenness”	as	relinquishing	a	self	to	a	heightened	attentiveness	to	being,	listening	and,	also,	dreaming.	In	the	music	of	this	desire,	the	dreamer	as	poet	is	“already	hearing	the	sounds	of	the	written	words”	(Bachelard,	1969,	p.	6).	To	be	a	poet	is	to	know	the	power	of	dreams.	In	poetic	desire,	each	poetic	turn	is	an	infinite	meditation	(Merleau-Ponty,	2002),	and	where	I	am	coming	to	learn	once	more	Rumi’s	lamenting:	“My	soul	is	from	elsewhere,	I’m	sure	of	that	and	I	intend	to	end	up	there”	(Barks,	1997,	p.	2).	I	ponder	how	the	writing	of	these	lines	strengthened	his	desire.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 One	must	write	to	know	IT.		Writing	is	both	meditation	and	also	mediation,	subtle	and	profound.			 In	Hegel’s	Dialectic	of	Desire	and	Recognition,	Hyppolite’s	(1996)	commentary	on	Hegel’s	desire	posits	that	self-consciousness	is	at	the	heart	of	desire:	“Consciousness	is	knowledge	of	another,	knowledge	of	the	sensuous	world	in	general;	self-consciousness,	on	the	contrary,	is	self-knowledge	and	is	expressed	in	the	identity	I”	(p.	68).	When	engaged	in	deep	systematic	reflection,	a	turning	inwards,	there	is	a	unity	with	the	world	and	with	I.	This	turning	in	and	out—in	and	78		then	out—brings	my	being	into	unity.	Poetry	is	this	unity.	The	eye	that	looks	out	and	the	I	that	looks	in.	My	poetic	truth(s)	are	what	rings	true,	in	this	space	of	where	I	AM.	Truth	is	light	for	even	a	moment.	An	artist’s	desire	is	to	find	the	desire	that	rises	up	from	the	deep	into	a	dawning.	I	desire	poetry,	which	not	only	allows	me	to	live	sensuously	in	the	sensuous	world,	but	also	is	a	pathway	to	self-knowledge:	“this	being	is	not	the	being	of	nature	but	the	being	of	desire,	the	disquiet	of	the	self”	(Hyppolite,	1996,	p.	77).	Here	is	clarity.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 There,	is	a	hushing		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Like	the	falling	of	the	snow		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Quieting	the	earth		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Where	white	is	light		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Manifest.		Lilburn	(1997)	acknowledges	that	desire	itself	is	never	satisfied,	but	aesthetic	contemplation	allows	us	to	see	the	shape	and	the	face	and	the	colours	of	it.		 In	this	disquieting	of	the	self,	aesthetic	space	is	an	interruption	(Neilsen	Glenn,	2004)	where	“hope	dwells	in	the	spaces	of	possibility”	(Leggo,	2004b,	p.	22)	of	being	provoked	by	the	art	of	one’s	self	through	“evocative	representations”	(Richardson,	2000,	p.	931).	Herein,	“we	can	experience	the	self-reflective	and	transformational	process	of	self-creation”	(Richardson,	2000,	p.	931).	To	embrace	the	Eros	of	language	is	to	embrace	the	disruption	that	has	called	it	into	being	and	into	remembering	to	be.	As	Dickinson	(as	cited	in	Parini,	2008,	p.	101)	experienced	that,	“after	a	great	pain,	a	formal	feeling	comes.”	Esmail	(1998)	writes	of	poetry’s	capacity	to	create	“meanings	in	reserve”	(p.	21)	through	the	generative	power	of	the	79		imagery	that	keeps	it	unfolding	and	enfolding	into	new	creations.	I	consider	the	notion	of	not	only	meanings	in	reserve,	but	also,	also,	moments	in	reserve,	always	a	becoming	into	the	meaning	of.	Each	moment	upon	moment	holds	intuitive	power	and	potential.	I	am	turning	into	process	and	purpose.			 Poetry,	as	desire’s	longing,	is	also	the	“waiting	in	the	world	of	becoming”	(Fujita,	2002,	p.	125)	with	a	sureness	that	destiny	is	in	the	poetry	where	self	is	singing	to	the	world	(Lee,	1998;	Neilsen,	2008)	in	a	lyrical	language	where	desire	gives	into	desire.	I	gave	in	to	love’s	desire	one	lonely	afternoon	as	I	was	walking	along	Ambleside	beach.	I	was	in	despair	and	felt	profoundly	empty.		 	 		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Where	is	Love?			 I	was	seeking,	but	didn’t	know	I	was	seeking,	perhaps	a	moment	of	passivity	gazing	at	the	placid	ocean	that	was	necessary	for	the	words	to	come	which	did	in	a	surge-filled	moment,	in	“a	collision	of	light	and	life”	(Keshavaraz,	2006,	p.	112),	where	I	had	to	eagerly	find	a	pen	so	I	wouldn’t	miss	the	lyrical	call.	This	was	a	moment	that	was	in	reserve,	waiting	for	the	call	to	become	a	lyrical	inquiry	that	did	change	my	destiny	in	what	was	to	come.	As	in	the	depths	of	the	ocean	that	I	was	walking	alongside,	Neilsen	Glenn	poignantly	writes	of	lyrical	inquiry	as	“an	ability	to	listen	beyond	the	surface	of	the	what’s	said	and	to	see	beyond	the	surface	of	what’s	given;	the	capacity	and	willingness	to	wait,	a	long	patience	that	reaps	insight”	(2014,	p.	142).	And	when	my	sister	sang	the	melody	that	brought	my	soul	song	to	being,	I	had	to	just	weep	at	the	words	that	in	their	surprising	simplicity	touched	the	inner	strings	of	a	soul	gazing	at	itself,	waiting.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 Some	thing	is	always	waiting.		80		Waiting	38	(Rajabali,	Rajabali,	&	Cruz,	2004)	How	blue	is	the	ocean	that	brings	forth	the	tide	Like	my	lonely	heart	drowning	deep	inside	Lovers	walking	hand	in	hand	but	no	one	for	me	Who	will	fulfill	my	destiny?	Who	will	fulfill	my	destiny?		This	emptiness	in	my	heart	is	too	much	to	bear	So	I	patiently	wait	and	for	him	I	prepare	If	you	feel	that	I’m	not	ready	for	it	to	reveal	Will	You	please	let	me	heal?		Bring	me	a	lover	That	will	stay	forever	Bring	me	a	lover	And	I	will	surrender	And	never	stray	again	And	never	stray	again		If	all	things	are	determined	in	this	life	Was	all	this	pain	meant	to	be	right?	I’ve	been	down	this	road	Oh,	so	many	times	If	I	seek	then	will	I	find?	If	I	seek	then	will	I	find?		Bring	me	a	lover	May	he	stay	forever?	Bring	me	a	lover	And	I	will	surrender	And	never	stray	again	I	will	never	stray	again																																																														38	Please	see	supplementary	audio	track	for	song	“Waiting.”	81		Point	of	Light:	Home	Coming				 The	first	time	I	felt	raw	emotion	was	when	I	was	almost	six	and	my	sister,	Yasmine,	was	born.	I	bring	this	experience	into	being	as	when	I	ruminate	upon	the	first	time	that	I	felt	“poetic;”	I	reflect	on	the	same	experience	in	this	kindred	kindling	of	emotion.	This	windswept	feeling—rising	waves	inside	of	me—is	poetry.	I	trace	the	thread	of	my	own	history	of	weaving	this	(re)search	back	to	the	tear	I	surprisingly	shed	when	she	came	home.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 And	I	remember.			 I	was	in	the	poetics	of	experiencing	and	encountering	the	hues	of	my	own	horizons,	to	be	pushed	into	the	edges	of	naked	emotion,	to	be	real,	to	be	raw.	Into	this	opening,	what	was	not	there,	now,	here	it	Is.	When	she	was	born,	I	became	a	poet.	And	it	is	somehow	the	fate	of	She	who	must	sing	herself	out	into	the	world	like	the	echoing	resonances	of	a	bird’s	calling.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 Here	I	am	and	I	am	and	I	am…	And	verticality	brings	harmony	(Bachelard,	1988).	She	lifting	lyrics	into	Song	Of	the	most	High	Sister	like	sparrow	Melody’s	rising	and	scattering	Into	the	sky	And,	yes,	oh,	yes	Here	You	Are.	82		And	I	ask	now	what	is	transcending	in-between	poetry	becoming	lyric	becoming	song?		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Love	IS.	Bringing	Home	Yasmine		I	was	nearly	six	when	she	was	almost	not	born	labouring	inside	my	mother	good	and	long	in	the	dark	watery	womb	of	a	soul	in	the	in-between	yearning	to	breathe	the	outside		rupturing	the	only	rhizome	she	knew	crossing	threshold		emerging		among	the	blood	and	the	pain	into	the	light—	Four	pounds	Singing		I	somehow	remember	the	dripping	of	vanilla	ice	cream	and	how	Rahima	and	me		unabashedly	ate	the	cones	in	my	father’s	old	beige	dodge	pick	up		with	plastic	bags	that	he	put	around	our	necks	in	a	nurturing	roughness	to	catch	the	drops	And	then	the	dishes	that	were	piled	up	in	the	kitchen	without	my	mother	83		while	the	IV	must	have	been		dripping		down	into	her		delicate	arms	That	now	carried	my	baby	sister	born	on	the	first	day	of	Spring	named	after	a	fragrant	flower	my	father	was	wearing	on	his	lapelle	“Yasmine”	he	said	pronounced	and	proud	as	my	mother	lowered	her	down		gingerly	to	me	who	then	peered	to	see		Her	startling	smallness	surprised	by	the	lone	tear	that	fell	from	my	face	rising	with	emotion	of	a	great	love	that	was	somehow	inside	of	me—	knowing	then	that	my	life	would	never		be		the		same.			 In	dwelling	in	my	poetic	I/eye,	I	am	reaching	to	others	in	the	words	and	in	the	white	spaces	too.	In	the	writing	of	my	poem	“Rahima,”	I	contemplate	how	poetry	reaches	in.	And	when	the	words	cannot	be	spoken	out	and	to,	there	is	poetry.				84		Rahima				“Ana	gone	school?”		she	would	ask	my	mother	as	she	awakened	to	spend	the	morning	pressing	her	three-year-old	face	against	the	frosted	window	pane	on	the	inside	a	blurred	looking	out	for	me	who	she	would	see	eventually		returning	to	find	her	wide	brown	eyed	waiting	by	the	door	I,	six	years	old	now	and	too	grown	up		 or	too	young	to	notice	how		she	loved	often	I,	not	stopping	but	bouncing	up	the	stairs	with	the	promise	of	new	friends	in	A	world	outside	us	two	now	her	solace	in	having	me	home	always	85		reaching		up—		 Would	it	have	made			 the			 difference			 now		 to	have	reached	out		 then		 momentarily	to	touch		 the	soft	earnest	face		 of	the	one		 who	waits		 Instinctively		 Lovingly?	A	sister	whose	empty	room	I	sat	in	sixteen	years	later	the	first	to	let	go	every	so	often	She	passing	through	home	speaking	stories	of	mountains	and	music	of	lovers	and	longings	To	I,	who	could	see	her	clearly		wide	brown	eyed	soft	woman	for	whom	I	wait	always	pressing	my	face		against	the	window	of	her	life	Only	to	let	me	in	at	times	earnestly	86		wanting	to		reach		in	from		the	outside.		 And	in	poetry	I	do	not	stand	on	the	outside.	I	turn	in	to	what	is	held	on	the	inside,	revealing	a	deeply	embodied	perceptual	praxis.	From	in	to	out	and	out	to	back	in,	I	move	in	this	endless	hermeneutic	circling.	With	each	turn	comes	a	knowing,	a	keen	understanding	and	then	back	to	center,	and	then	back	out,	stronger.	This	is	the	centre	of	self	that	experiences	the	center	of	the	experience.	I	am	drawing	in	and	drawing	out	in	a	rhizomorphic	patterning.	In	enacting	my	a/r/tographic	praxis,	as	I	stated	in	my	Prologue,	are	the	patterns	of	my	own	becoming	as	in	the	raindrops	that	come	together	and	linger	on	a	leaf.	And	I	am	claiming	and	being	claimed.	In	this	naming,	at	times,	comes	the	pain.	I	draw	and	withdraw	through	this	pain	that	gathers	the	grace	that	only	poetry	can	bring	to	me.	 	 	 		 And	on	the	beach	in	Jericho	one	grey	afternoon	in	May,	my	I/eye	hones	in	to	three	birds	homing	on	a	log.	Something	so	familiar	calls	me	forth	in	three	birds	as	in	three	sisters.			 	 	 	 	 	 Poetry	is	a	honing	in	and	a	homing	in.		In	my	writing	of	this	poem,	in	retrospect,	I	ruminate	on	why	I	did	not	describe	the	appearance	or	colour	of	the	birds	and	then	I	understand	that	in	their	aeriality,	they	are	“the	colour	of	infinity”	(Bachelard,	1988,	p.	77).	Hirshfield	(2007)	asks:	“Is	there	some	quality	in	birds—the	way	their	presence	among	us	might	be	withdrawn	at	any	moment,	or	the	way	that	part	of	us	follows	them	into	the	distance—that	causes	them	to	recur?”	(p.	143).	And	I	ask:	what	does	not	distance	us	from	the	birds’	journey?	 	87		Three		I	see	three	birds		perching	on	a	weathered	log		crossing	into	the	line		of	the	low	tide—	half	onto	the	sand	and	half	into	the	waters	where	now	a	trinity	of	birds	sit	in	one	momentary	stay	facing		the	vastness		of	the	briny	blue	ocean	breathing			I	know	this		language	of	the	birds	as	the	wind’s	embrace	lifts	me	forward		to	something	so	familiar		in	three	birds		like	three	sisters	three	years	apart	of	three	lives	always	in	the	possibility	of	flight		to	the	west,	to	the	north	and	to	the	south	spaces	in	between		of	us	who	once	shared	a	single	womb	wandering	now	afar	to	come	home,	ever	so	often	like	the	birds	where	no	words	are	necessary	of	a	silence	that	gestures	and	then	speaks:		88		I	know	I	know	I	know	I	can	almost	hear	them	say	as	they	move	together		 Oh,	how	they	show	love		 how	this	will	have	to	endure		As	one	then	takes	her	flight	not	looking		behind	anymore	to	follow	the	single	stroke		of	a	paint	brushed	cloud	to	her	own		destiny	disappearing		into	the	light	onwards	and	then	another,	leaving	the	other,		to	follow	with	only	her	eyes	knowing	she	needs	to	stay	Here—		like	my	mother	who	lost	both	sisters	and	then	sat	with	the	empty	bodies	she	could	not	follow	with	even	her	eyes	and		how	I	feel	this	pain	now	of	no	returning	as	I	can	almost	hear	the	lone	bird	whisper	in	the	hollows		of	my	own	heart			 Oh,	please	come	home?				89		Point	of	Light:	Evoking	You			 The	world	and	I	reciprocate	one	another.	The	landscape	as	I	directly	experience		 it	is	hardly	a	determinate	object;	it	is	an	ambiguous	realm	that	responds	to	my		 emotions	and	calls	forth	feelings	from	me	in	turn.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 (Abram,	1997,	p.	33)			 I	am	intrigued	with	Abram’s	(1997)	phenomenological	notion	of	the	world	as	a	sensuous	entity	that	ebbs	and	flows	with	every	single	movement	of	our	being	in	a	meeting	of	horizons	between	us	and	the	world	that	is	always	pulsating,	always	in	motion,	“into	which	we	move	and	that	moves	with	us”	(Gadamer,	1989,	p.	304).	Poetry	is	the	pulsing	of	experiencing.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Pulsing,	pulsing,	pulsing		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 ALL	is.	To	consider	this	infinite	conversation	is	to	affirm	the	multiple	layers	of	meaning	that	are	given	to	any	human	experience.	To	(re)turn	to	the	world,	as	in	the	metaphor	of	the	dervish,	is	to	cycle	through	desire,	interpretation,	and	revelation	and	to	be	in	a	space	where	we	are	not	merely	a	spectator	(Merleau-Ponty,	2002),	but	where	the	nature	of	our	perspective	and	perception	makes	possible	the	expansiveness	of	the	horizons	of	our	encountering.		And	“what	you	seek,	is	[also]	seeking	you”	(Rumi,	n.d.-c,	par.	1).	And	what	you	see,	does	it	see	you	too?			 In	the	act	of	living	interpretation	as	an	unfolding	of	meanings,	we	are	brought	to	the	very	gateway	of	knowing.	What	we	see	are	governed	by	all	aspects	of	our	90		whole	being	in	the	world—mental,	emotional,	physical	and	spiritual.	In	a	sense,	the	vastness	or	smallness	of	our	understandings	are	from	where	we	are	metaphorically	standing	at	a	particular	time	and	space.	In	essence,	poetry	becomes	a	way	to	express	my	standpoints,	of	what	and	where	I	am	standing	in.		 	 	 	 	 		 I	bring	forth	this	dialogue	at	this	point	of	my	inquiry	because	like	Abram	(1997)	who	bridges	ecological	and	spiritual	being	in	the	intertwining	web	of	experience	in	a	landscape	that	is	lived	from	within,	I	am	seeking	to	know	the	landscape	of	poetry	and	how	it	evokes	in	us,	through	us,	with	us,	the	words	that	reflect	a	world	of	our	unique	perceptions.	Esmail	(1998)	writes	of	the	poetic	experience	as	“generat[ing]	lines	of	meaning	which	emerge	and	radiate	inwards	and	outwards”	(p.	21),	into	what	I	call	rhizomatic	revelations.	In	lingering	through	the	landscape	of	language,	poetry	can	ground	one’s	self	again,	back	to	our	bodies,	back	to	our	spirit,	back	to	the	ecosystems	we	inhabit.			 The	transactional	theory	of	evoking	a	poem	(Rosenblatt,	1978)	is	a	potent	notion	that	calls	to	my	own	inquiry	in	looking	to	poetry	as	“language	that	always	stays	near	the	source	and	hears	the	coursing	of	that	primal	Silence”	(Cheetham,	2012,	p.	247),	in	whatever	name	we	choose	to	give	this	“source.”	The	process	of	interiorization	(Cheetham,	2012)	is	where	we	depart	from	external	reality	into	a	spiritual	one;	the	lines	of	flight,	therein,	are	lit	with	points	of	light.	In	my	experience,	each	poem	allows	me	to	linger	in	the	spaces	in-between	the	dark	and	light,	moving	with	sureness	in	its	infinite	verticality	knowing	that	“in	the	very	appearing	of	the	phenomenon	is	concealed	the	essence	of	what	is”	(Aoki,	as	cited	in	Pinar,	2005,	p.	91		13).	To	be	a	poet	is	to	be	a	defender	of	interiority,	always	in	love	with	the	cosmos	(Irigaray,	2002).	 I	see	the	heart	of	the	tree	carved	by	nature’s	hand	and	I	feel	the	soul	of	the	Ocean	waves	rhythmic	and	robust,	This	must	be	essence.		 To	contextualize	poetry	as	a	spiritual	process	and	practice	is	to	know	poetic	expression	as	a	search,	this	“search	for	the	truth	of	being”	(Esmail,	1998,	p.	73).	In	turn,	to	know	the	divine,	one	must	be	willing	to	know	one’s	self,	to	contemplate	the	inner	human	landscape.	I	resonate	with	the	premise	that	all	questions	on	the	nature	of	art,	music	and	poetry	are,	in	essence,	theological	(Cheetham,	2012),	bringing	one	to	the	threshold	of	the	Divine,	the	Source,	and	the	Real.	Poetry	as	an	act	of	living	spiritual	interpretation,	of	self-awareness	towards	“achieving	your	own	theophany−where	the	spring	of	the	Water	of	Life	is	found,	at	the	center	of	the	world”	(Cheetham,	2012,	p.	153).		In	poetry	as	a	spiritual	pathway	is	the	centre	of	the	world	on	a	page;	this	page	being	a	vessel	for	the	“Water	of	Life”	that	nourishes	and	nurtures	the	soul	calling	the	Soul.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Now,	wash	over	me.		 Rosenblatt	(1978)	explored	how	the	reader	enters	the	text	of	a	poem	and	what	occurs	in	the	process	of	encountering	a	poem.	In	this	process	of	aesthetic	contemplation,	readers	shape	their	own	evocations	in	a	transaction	where	the	whole	of	one’s	life	history	is	brought	to	the	making	of	meaning.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 And	I	bring	All	of	me.	92		In	poetry	that	is	always	performing,	the	communion	of	self	and	word	and	world(s)	is	one	of	continuing	awareness,	both	an	opening	and	a	constraint.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 I	push	and	it	pushes	me	back,		 	 	 	 	 	 	 pushing	me	back	to	seeing.		 The	text,	in	Rosenblatt’s	(1978)	interpretation	is	giving,	but	only	as	much	as	the	reader	is	willing	to	enter	into	a	transaction	with	the	text	and	can	“pay	attention	to	the	openness”	(p.	88).	The	reader	fills	in	the	gaps	and	spaces	and	adopts	an	aesthetic	stance	to	reading.	In	this	transaction,	there	are	moments	of	satisfaction	that	are	gained	in	continuing	to	journey	in	the	text.	In	essence,	I	contemplate	this	as	exercising	a	commitment	in	action	to	experience	its	own	thresholds	in	seeing	the	world	imaginally.	 I	am	reading	a	poem	reading	Me	reading	a	Poem	reading	Me.		Herein,	poetry	is	performing	a	contemplative	pedagogy	in	action	where	desire	is	at	the	cross	of	intentions	between	the	poem	and	the	reader	where	the	text	itself	must	speak:	“you	must	prove	to	me	that	it	desires	me”	(Barthes,	1975,	p.	6).	Here	lies	the	“truth”	of	poetry.	What	it	is	at	any	given	time	and	space	is	what	one	desires	to	see	and	this	desire	is	symbiotic.	That	is,	the	author	desires	the	reader	so	93		that	the	text	will	be	revealed	and	known	and	the	reader	desires	to	know	what	the	text	holds.	And	my	(re)search	performs	for	the	reader.	I	become	only	through	and	in	relation	to	You.	Hence,	my	poems	must	be	known.	To	see	a	poem	as	lived	and	“burned”	through	one’s	own	history,	is	to	acknowledge	not	only	our	historicity	(Gadamer,	1989)	and	what	we	bring	to	the	transaction,	but	also	a	call	to	words	where	paying	“attention	to	language	is	a	way,	then,	to	reopen	the	question	of	what	it	means	to	be	human”	(Ricoeur,	as	cited	in	Esmail,	1998,	p.	71).			 	 	 And	what	it	means	to	be	human	is	to	know	what	lies	beyond.		 Although	Rosenblatt	(1978)	does	not	address	spirituality,	her	theory	calls	to	me	in	that	in	the	process	of	“evoking”	there	is	the	past,	the	present	and	the	future.	In	“evoking”	there	is	something	continuously	becoming	and	to	experience	poetry	is	to	engage	in	a	modality	that	is	revelatory.	Poetry	is	human	presence,	of	writer	and	of	reader.	What	we	are	evoking—particularly	in	the	writing	of	poetry—is	both	transcendent	and	immanent	where	“transcendence	engages	us	with	the	mystery	of	reality,	while	immanence	engages	with	its	intimacy”	(Lakhani,	2010,	p.	182).	And	in	poetry	are	both	the	mundane	and	the	sacred.	In	poetry	the	profane	reaches	into	the	profound.		 I	contemplate	not	only	what	is	evoked	but	also	what	I	am	invoking.	In	the	heartbeat	of	my	inquiry	is	the	affirmation	that	“we	are	spiritual	beings	having	a	human	experience”	(Teilhard	de	Chardin,	n.d.	par.	1),	and	I	pose	the	question	that	perpetually	guides	my	(re)searching:	What	is	IT	then	that	I	am	invoking?			94		Ogden	Point	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 		I	am	standing	at	Ogden	Point	in	Victoria,	British	Columbia,	looking	out	into	the	Blue.	My	eyes	expand	to	the	breadth	of	the	landscape,	the	ocean,	the	mountains,	the	sky.	And	the	sky	is	in	eye.	A	bird	crosses	into	my	vision	and	then	becomes	a	speckle	as	the	clouds	move	to	the	wind.	The	earth	is	turning.	How	the	light	flickers	on	the	surface	of	the	waters	playing	patterns	shining	like	crystals,	reflecting	and	refracting.	And	a	poet	is	“a	producer	of	lights	[who]	knows	what	heat	source	light	comes	from”	(Bachelard,	1969,	p.	xxi).	Here,	I	wrote	the	lyrics	that	became	a	song	after	eight	years	of	leaving	music.39	IT	found	me	again.	What	is	the	learning	here?	The	poetic	I/eye,	it	never	closes.		Evoking	You	40	(Rajabali,	Rajabali,	&	Cruz,	2012)		My	ancestors	are	here	I	feel	their	spirits	near	Echoes	of	a	distant	land	Ground	me	to	the	grains	of	sand		The	tide	doesn't	come	home	But	I	know	its	journey	is	my	own	Your	love	is	going	to	bring	it	here	There	is	nothing	left	to	fear			Everything	I	see	evokes	You	A	rose	in	my	heart	eternally	bloom		 The	sky	surrounds	a	brilliant	hue		 Resonates	your	name,	evoking	you		My	soul's	uplifted,	a	sound	sublime	Signalling	the	coming	of	the	tide																																																									39	Yasmine,	Joe	and	I	returned	to	studio	in	2012	after	a	long	hiatus	to	write	and	record	“Evoking	You.”	40	Please	see	supplementary	audio	file	for	song	“Evoking	You.”	95		Hope,	renewal,	gratitude	In	the	very	'nature'	of	You		And	I	Will	never	feel	alone	Safe	in	God’s	abode	A	sureness	of	my	soul	And	You	Giver	of	life	Keeper	of	the	night	This	light	upon	light	upon	light…				 Everything	I	see	evokes	You		 A	rose	in	my	heart	eternally	bloom		 The	sky	surrounds	a	brilliant	hue		 Resonates	your	name,	evoking	you	 	 	 														96		Point	of	Light:	On	Writing	a	Poem	41		The	sky	Is	a	suspended	blue	ocean	The	stars	are	fish	That	swim	The	planets	are	the	white	whales	I	sometimes	hitch	a	ride	on	 	 	And	the	sun	and	all	light	Have	forever	fused	themselves		Into	my	heart	and	upon	My	skin.		 	 	 	 	 	 (Hafiz,	as	cited	in	Ladinsky,	1996,	p.	67)	Not	unlike	the	poet,	the	phenomenologist	directs	the	gaze	toward	the	regions	where	meaning	originates,	wells	up,	percolates	through	the	porous	membranes	of	past	sedimentations—	and	then	infuses	us,	permeates	us,	infects	us,	touches	us…		 	 	 	 	 	 	 (van	Manen,	2007,	p.	11)		 As	I	practice	phenomenologically	informed	perspectives	of	a/r/tography	as	wedded	to	poetic	inquiry,	I	peel	another	layer	of	my	(re)search	by	undertaking	an	intimate	exploration	of	the	kinship	between	phenomenology	and	poetry.	Herein	is	where	both	evocative	expressions	place	primacy	on	the	sensual	experiences	of	living	and	being	in	the	world.	It	is	in	this	space	where	attending	to	language	reawakens	the																																																									41	A	version	of	the	chapter	has	been	published	in:	Rajabali,	A.	(2014).	On	writing	a	poem:	A		phenomenological	inquiry.	Creative	Approaches	to	Research,	(7)2,		39-50.			97		essence	of	what	is	lived,	breathed	and	burned	through.	Dahlberg	(2006)	writes	that	“when	we	attend	intentionality	to	a	phenomenon,	when	we	understand	that	phenomenon	and	what	it	is,	we	are	involved	in	essences”	(p.	12).	Like	poetry,	phenomenology	requires	a	heightened	attentiveness,	a	poetic	sensibility,	attuning	one’s	self	to	the	subtle	movements	of	the	body	experiencing,	resonating	with	both	presence	and	possibility.	In	my	work	I	illuminate	what	I	experience	in	my	lifeworld.	Poetry	is	a	place	to	attend	to	the	nuances	of	what	I	am	encountering.	My	poetic	language	is	evoked	from	a	breathing	sensing	body	in	an	ongoing	conversation	with	the	world	that	reciprocates	and	generates.	I	am	experiencing	the	embodied	flesh	of	an	experience	relived	through	the	flesh	and	Eros	of	language	(Abram,	1997).	In	this	breadth,	the	writer/poet/researcher	thrives	on	thresholds,	documenting	the	doorways	of	being	where	being	creates	expression	and	expression,	in	turn,	creates	being.	In	this	deepening	of	human	understanding,	language	is	then	a	“medium	for	experiencing	experience”	(Hejinian,	2000,	p.	3).	In	willingly	participating	in	this	act	of	writing	the	body	in	the	world,	the	process	becomes	not	only	poetic	in	its	keen	attention	to	language	as	it	reduces	and	also	exceeds	its	own	capacities,	but	it	also	becomes	a	pedagogical	encounter	wherein	“knowledge	always	speaks”	(Merleau-Ponty,	2007,	p.	57).	In	crystallizing	this	encounter	through	the	act	of	writing,	the	union	of	experience	and	word	becomes	a	practice	of	perceiving	perceptions	from	within.	In	my	quest,	I	not	only	bring	some	aspect	of	the	living	quivering	world	into	being,	but	I	become	the	world.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Words	become	a	world.		98			 The	singing	of	a	life	world	(Merleau-Ponty,	2002)	is	a	provocative	metaphor	for	a	primal	telling	where	each	organism	plays	a	part	into	its	own	becoming.	In	bridging	both	poetry	and	phenomenology,	the	intention	of	what	is	to	be	lifted	off	the	page	is	the	heart	of	the	experience,	a	moment,	an	emotion,	a	feeling,	an	encounter,	a	snapshot	of	humanity	in	its	vulnerability	and	resiliency.	However	there	are	different	levels	of	directness,	that	is,	the	integrity	of	phenomenological	writing	is	its	explicit	nature	to	explicate	an	episode	documenting	the	living	breathing	moments	of	a	body	as	it	is	experiencing	some	thing.	And	in	poetry,	it	is	the	metaphoric	possibilities,	the	prowess	and	potential	of	language	that	opens	up	meaning	making.	Both	modes	of	representation	can	bestow	a	multiplicity	of	meanings	and	interpretations	in	illuminating	some	poignant	aspect	of	human	endeavouring,	and	here	there	can	be	transformation	and	connection	for	writer	and	reader.				 Richardson’s	(2000)	metaphor	of	a	crystal	in	her	discussion	of	social	science	research	texts	that	are	“evocative	representations,”	cast	light	on	the	notion	of	writing	that	can	illuminate,	deepen	and	reflect	human	understandings.	The	metaphoric	crystal	also	holds	diverse	truths	in	that	what	we	will	see	depends	on	where	we	are,	in	our	“angle	of	repose”	(p.	934).		 	 	 	 	 And	the	light	comes	in	only	when	I	am	ready.		 	 	 	 	 	 			Reflecting	and	refracting	from	me.	Evocative	writing	“touches	where	we	live,	in	our	bodies”	(Richardson,	2000,	p.	931)	and	these	words	do	not	reach	for	some	conclusive	evidence,	but	instead	for	some	sense	of	what	lies	at	the	ontological	core	of	our	being,	between	the	interplay	of	reflection	and	memory	that	inspirits	our	personal	investigations.		99			 Ultimately,	writing	is	the	inquiry	and	intention,	a	process	of	coming	to	know	what	things	are.	It	is	in	this	writerly	space,	where	absence	is	as	telling	as	presence	and	where	language	as	a	discourse	of	representation	substitutes	for	the	phenomenon	itself.	It	is	here	where	“one	can	run	up	against	the	human	wall	of	language	or	where	one	might	be	permitted	to	momentarily	gaze	through	its	crevices”	(van	Manen,	2006,	p.	718).	In	this	possibility	of	openings	is	where	there	is	hope	and	desire.	Writing	itself	becomes	a	process	of	the	flickering	between	light	and	dark	where	lightness	and	darkness	ebb	and	flow	in	cycles	of	knowing.	Writing	is	a	glimpsing	into	creating	meaning.	Bringing	an	object	into	one’s	gaze	is	mediated	by	the	tension	and	at	times,	obligation	of	rendering	it	to	the	page.	In	my	work	I	am	seeking	understanding	and	in	this	process,	I	am	coming	to	know	what	something	is	as	it	is	mediated	through	me.			 The	core	intimacy	of	poetic	expression	leads	Bachelard	(1964)	to	understand	“poetry	as	a	phenomenology	of	the	soul”	(p.	xxi)—a	primal	expression	of	human	life.	The	vibrancy	of	the	poetic	image	sets	off	reverberations	in	language	that	sings	to	and	about	the	world.	This	notion	of	language	that	takes	root	in	us	speaks	to	the	nature	of	an	experience	that	calls	for	it	to	be	named	because	“writing	creates	a	space	that	belongs	to	the	unsayable”	(van	Manen,	2006,	p.	718).	In	this	process	of	naming	the	unnamed	(Derrida,	1978),	there	is	then	a	renewal	where	one	emerges	in	the	awakening	of	creation	(Bachelard,	1964),	in	the	process	of	becoming	said.	In	writing	there	is	both	passivity	and	liberation,	that	is,	a	willingness	for	the	words	to	come	through	and	a	certain	freedom	that	comes	from	the	given	understandings.		100			 To	enter	or	puncture	liminal	spaces	is	also	to	dwell	in	places	that	are	painful	and	yet	need	to	be	claimed	and	contained	on	the	page.	Writing	becomes	a	political	and	pedagogical	act.	hooks	(1999)	states	for	her	in	the	“moment	I	whirl	with	words,	when	I	dance	in	the	ecstatic	circle	of	love	surrounded	by	ideas,	it	is	an	act	of	transgression…there	are	no	binding	limitations”	(p.	45).	In	turn,	phenomenological	writing	becomes	a	tool	for	deeper	understanding	of	living	human	diversity	as	a	vehicle	in	which	to	fearlessly	say	the	unsayable,	“to	see	the	nakedness	of	the	now”	(van	Manen,	2006,	p.	718).	To	be	in	this	place	where	even	“flesh	then	falls	away”	(hooks,	1999,	p.	35)	is	to	be	in	the	very	bones	of	raw	inquiry.	In	the	notion	of	the	now	is	also	contained	the	past,	the	history	of	our	understandings	that	enable	one	to	see	what	one	sees	and	then,	also,	what	one	is	becoming	through	writing.	I	conceptualize	this	as	being	in	the	fullness	of	an	experience.	In	this	type	of	seeing,	of	being	in	the	poetic	I/eye,	is	where	both	poetry	and	phenomenology	can	strengthen	pluralistic	understandings	of	what	it	means	to	be	human.			 Poetry,	in	the	way	of	Rumi,	requires	rapture,	a	revelry	with	the	world	and	the	word,	a	relinquishing	of	boundaries,	a	stripping	down	of	self,	this	nakedness	where	one	is	consumed	with	only	the	experiencing	of	what	is	coming	through.	And	this	is	a	place	that	I	am	coming	to	know	as	presence,	of	being	here	and	also	giving	into	the	spirit	that	enters	my	writing.	Thus,	this	is	not	a	place	of	only	intellectual	engagement	but	of	heightened	emotions	guided	by	keen	intuition.	In	poetry	there	is	a	rawness	of	being,	a	human	endeavouring	that	sparks	the	body,	mind,	and	soul,	of	what	I	know	as	a	peaking	of	consciousness.		101			 And	what	calls	an	experience	to	the	page?	In	the	broad	spectrum	of	human	emotions,	the	notion	that	something	has	to	echo	or	has	to	speak	to	our	consciousness	(Merleau-Ponty,	2002)	in	the	very	depths	of	our	being,	bridges	the	sheer	diversity	of	feelings	that	can	call	one	into	writing.	van	Manen	(2002)	puts	forth	that	the	impetus	for	this	desire	is	a	call	to	wonder	as	we	are	“drawn	by	the	gaze	of	something	that	stares	back	at	us”	(p.	5).	In	this	premise,	we	are	then	to	acknowledge	the	reciprocity	of	the	world,	as	it	becomes	us	as	much	as	we	become	it	in	this	“wider	dance	of	the	human	body	with	the	larger	body	of	the	earth”	(Searle,	2012,	p.	53).	To	be	thrown	into	the	natural	world	is	to	consider	how	much	our	own	perceptions	are	determined	by	our	own	presence	at	a	given	time	and	space	and	what	factors	may	limit	or	expand	the	field	of	our	experiences	and	then	our	perception.	To	document	a	moment	is	to	know	where	we	are	and	were	at	certain	points	of	our	lives.	Phenomenology	and	poetry	call	us	to	a	heightened	attentive	sense	of	being-in-moment.	In	practicing	this	living	inquiry	is	where	there	is	a	communion	with	and	through	the	world	and	the	possibilities	of	traversing	a	personal	landscape	journeying	through	the	hues	of	emotion.	This	questing	guided	by	the	capacity	and	the	vastness	of	our	own	vision	opening	(or	closing)	to	the	earth.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 What	do	we	take	IN?		 As	I	enter	the	poetic	space	of	this	inquiry,	I	acknowledge	the	act	of	“poetry	as	a	site	for	the	consciousness	of	perception”	(Hejinian,	2000,	p.	67).	As	language	can	lift	an	experience	into	heightened	ways	of	seeing	and	understanding,	the	full	breadth	of	what	occurs	is	left	to	remain	and	linger	in	the	gaps.	In	presenting	a	poem	followed	by	the	lived	experience	of	writing	the	poem,	I	engage	in	poetics	in	my	102		phenomenological	reflection.	There	could	be	in	fact	very	little	separation	in	the	space	in	between	the	poem	and	the	experience	of	writing	it—both	inspirited	with	the	process	of	a	phenomenological	investigation.	In	writing	the	lived	experience,	the	question	of	how	this	poem	has	come	into	being	becomes	a	philosophical	question.	The	process	of	engaging	in	metapoetics	or	metapoetry	with	the	lens	of	phenomenology	has,	in	turn,	called	my	attention	to	the	writer	as	a	feeling	sensing	body.	At	this	point	in	my	inquiry,	I	am	getting	closer	to	knowing	the	body	that	writes.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 And	what	calls	me	to	an	encounter?		 	 	 	 	 	 	 IT.	Promise		I	place	my	foot	Upon	the	sand	That	gives	gently		To	the	presence	of	My	body	On	this	slightly	frigid	December		Morning	Where	the	cold	air	fills	my	eyes	With	an	awakened	intensity	A	sudden	expansion	of	the		Landscape	before	me	Where	I	witness	the	eager	rays	Of	light	Break	through	The	horizon	With	a	pronounced	promise	Of	a	day	Peaking	To	the	rhythms	Of	the	ocean	103		That	I	now	too	Inhabit		My	life	world—	In	the	very	breath	That	appears			Lingers		Disappears		Before		Me	Breath	upon	breath	This	milky	cloud	of	being	That	keeps	me	moving	As	the	sand	upon	sand	upon	sand	Is	lifting	Shifting	Releasing	Remaining	Becoming	part	of	The	journey	I	purposefully	make	To	the	edge	of	the	morning’s	shore		Where	I	observe	A	lone	seagull	Steadying	the	waters	Steadying	the	lone	seagull	Momentarily	Communing	With	the	ocean	in	the	between		Of	flight		This	line	of	flight	That	I	am	now	a	part	of		A	Bird	An	Ocean	Sand	A	Woman	104		Its	own	Rhizome	42	That		Gives	Moves	Generates	Produces	Desires	My	own	Maternal	consciousness	That	heightens	And	Aches	As	She	Sits	On	the	womb	Of	the	ocean	That	supports	her	As	the	sand	supports		Me	In	a	state	of	becoming		And	The	bird,	Now	As	if	sensing	the	sudden	keenness	of	my	own	horizons	The	sheer	intensity	of	my	thinking	Takes	flight	into	her	own	As	if	to	answer	my	unsaid	Question	on	this	now		Sacred	slightly	frigid	December		Morning	Leaving		Me	To	ponder	With	wonder	The	part	we	all	play	In	each	others	Veritable	 	Becomings																																																									42		See	Deleuze	and	Guattari	(1987)	105		Entering	 	 		 		 I	stare	at	the	barren	page	that	seems	to	blink	blankly	back	at	me	as	if	to	question	my	own	readiness	to	write	this	poem.	I	sit	at	my	cluttered	dark	wood	stained	slightly	key	scratched	dining	table	which	is	becoming	my	personal	library,	a	testament	to	my	own	evolving	thinking	and	burgeoning	interests	where	Heidegger,	Ponty,	Dilthey,	Gadamer,	Derrida,	Irigaray,	hooks,	van	Manen,	and	Hafiz	and	Rumi	live,	dwell	and	linger	and	bear	witness	to	my	mission.	This	poem	that	I	try	to	create	in	this	space—	that	place—	to	write	the	words	that	have	been	burning	in	and	through	my	mind	for	four	months	since	that	morning	in	Parksville	in	December	where	I	witnessed	a	lone	bird	on	the	blue	waters.				 But	like	every	poem	I	write,	I	need	to	walk	with	it	first,	to	let	the	words	find	their	way,	their	own	rhyme	and	reason	to	commit	to	the	page.	This	blank	page,	which	feels	lonely	as	I	still	sit	in	my	white	robe	in	the	late	morning	and	sip	a	dark,	now,	lukewarm	bitter	espresso	that	gives	a	sense	of	the	comforting	routine	of	a	morning.	And	I	listen	to	the	ebb	and	flow	of	the	raindrops,	light	to	heavy	and	back	to	light	drops	that	find	themselves	on	the	window	and	I	turn	my	gaze	without	moving	my	body.	I	keenly	sense	my	loneliness	on	this	Saturday,	which	is	unlike	the	others,	where	I	have	a	rare	morning	of	silence	coupled	with	a	surge	of	ensuing	creativity	and	I	feel	that	surge	in	my	flesh,	stronger	than	it	has	been	for	some	time.	But	I	want	music,	a	little	Marvin	Gaye	(1971/2003,	track	1),	a	little	“What’s	Going	On?”	But	I	resist,	as	if	calling	to	the	words	themselves	to	fill	this	void.	I	sense	the	tension,	the	vulnerability	of	rendering	one’s	self	on	the	page,	the	tightness	in	my	upper	spine.	I	feel	my	eyebrows	lift	as	I	think	about	the	sand,	the	beach,	the	air,	my	breath,	the	sadness	that	has	been	sitting	in	the	106		core	of	my	chest	with	these	words	that	I	lived	but	still	do	not	know.	That	epiphanic	moment	on	the	beach	lives	in	my	memory,	does	not	allow	me	to	leave	it,	compels	me	to	relive	it.			 My	mind	takes	me	to	Annie	Dillard	(1989)	and	how	she	laments	that	the	only	thing	that	will	teach	you	to	write	is	the	blank	page	itself	and	I	feel	the	pull	towards	it.	The	pull	I	feel	to	sit	and	write	is	more	than	the	pull	to	get	up	and	leave	it.	I	feel	a	moment	of	in-betweeness	of	almost	getting	up	off	the	chair…		 But	my	desire	is	greater	and	I	feel	my	feet	firmly	rooted	and	I	lean	in	to	the	writing.	I	submit	willingly	to	this	communion	with	words	in	a	journey	of	both	desire	and	doubt.	My	eyes	shift	only	for	a	fleeting	moment	to	the	cherry	tree	filled	pink	blossoms	outside	the	window	gathering	rain	as	if	to	give	a	sudden	inspiration…	I	type…I	am.		No!	I	delete.	I	type…I	enter.	No!	I	delete.	I	type…I	see.	No!	I	delete	again.	My	throat	tightened	and	feels	trapped	with	restrained	breath.	I	sense	the	familiar	line	between	my	forehead	wrinkle	and	deepen	as	I	hear	my	sister’s	voice:	You	will	need	Botox	if	you	keep	doing	that...	My	wrist	and	forearm	tense	as	I	go	again	to	the	again	stark	page…	I	talk	to	myself	out	loud	and	close	my	eyes	while	my	fingers	still	hover	over	the	keyboard.	See	it,	smell	it…sense	it…start	at	the	beginning...	107		I	smell	the	air	of	that	morning,	summoning	the	moment,	the	salty	sharpness,	and	the	“beachness.”	I	see	myself	there.	I	remember	vividly	placing	my	foot	upon	the	sand	and	my	eyes	filling	with	the	scene	before	me.		I	shall	pause	there.	I	shall	start	here.			I	open	my	eyes	and	breathe	into	the	first	verse:	I	place	my	foot	(enter)	Upon	the	sand	(enter)	That	gives	gently	(enter)	To	the	presence	of	(enter)	My	body	(enter)		 And	my	lips	come	together	and	I	exhale	loudly	as	I	enter	this	sacred	sublime	place	evoking	the	words	evoking	me	giving	into	them	as	they	come	now	with	grace	and	purpose…a	knowing…a	sensing…an	attending	to	its	rhythms	and	form	and	where	I	should	“enter.”	I	feel	the	familiar	tears	filling	my	eyes	in	the	humbling	beauty	of	this	moment	of	creation	coming	through	me	as	I	linger	in	a	space	that	I	can	only	call	Spirit,	this	commitment	I	make	to	what	is	in	me,	transcending	me	in	wanting	and	wonder.	And	the	rain	continues	to	fall	almost	lovingly	now	as	I	lean	into	this	poetic	calling	on	what	was	only	minutes	ago	a	lonely	Saturday	morning.			108		(Re)turning			By	intentionally	engaging	in	this	multilayered	inquiry,	I	have	stood	at	different	points	of	distance.	From	first	unpacking	the	notion	of	poetry	and	phenomenology	as	kindred	concepts,	I	have	placed	myself	somewhat	on	the	outside	to	be	able	to	see	in.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 I/eye	stand	back	to	see	in.	Secondly,	my	poetry	bridges	this	distance,	in	that	it	gives	light	to	the	nature	of	an	experience	that	has	been	lived.	Dilthey	(1985)	writes	that	it	is	the	calling	of	the	poet	to	explicate	lived	experience,	this	lived	experience	that	is	“a	structural	nexus	which	preserves	the	past	as	‘presence’	in	the	present”	(p.	16).	Moreover,	the	notion	of	experiencing	an	absolute	presence	and	expansive	perception	both	as	heightened	states	of	being	in	moments	that	render	it	with	meaning	and	purpose,	leaves	one	to	consider	what	could	have	possibly	been	left	as	fleeting	and	unnoticed.	Merleau-Ponty	(2007)	states	that	what	makes	an	event	lived	is	that	it	occurs	at	“close	quarters”	and	Dilthey	(1985)	puts	forth	that	“a	feeling	is	a	relatively	fleeting	subjective	state	related	to	representational	consciousness,	a	lived	experience	is	described	as	a	more	lasting	mode	in	which	reality	is	possessed”	(p.	16).	And	what	will	I	see	the	next	time	I	come	back	to	this	place?	In	what	ways	will	this	particular	experience	still	speak?	In	the	context	of	my	poem,	“Promise,”	in	both	its	creation	and	content,	I	consider	the	nature	of	a	lived	experience	with	the	readiness,	willingness,	and	openness	of	both	heart	and	perception	that	it	entails,	but	also	how	the	world	gives	109		and	reciprocates	in	this	infinite	meditation	(Merleau-Ponty,	2007)	of	meanings.	These	meanings	upon	meanings	in	moments	that	render	it	to	being,	in	turn,	are	given	to	us	as	much	as	we	are	relinquishing	them	upon	the	world.			 	 	 	 	 Rendering	and	relinquishing	is	the	process.	The	rhizome	(Deleuze	&	Guattari,	1987),	as	a	central	metaphor	for	my	a/r/tobiographic	writing,	considers	the	in-between	spaces	and	places	where	meanings	live	and	linger	and	also	the	intertwined	parts	of	meaning	making.	It	is	only	through	entering	one	space	that	one	can	access	the	other.			 	 	 	 I	understand	this	only	by	knowing	what	has	come	before.	As	well	as	relational	meaning	making	in	which	“we	are	through	and	through	relation	to	the	world”	(Merleau-Ponty,	2007,	p.	67),	the	rhizomatic	notion	of	multiple	non-hierarchical	entry	and	exit	points	carry	the	sheer	diversity	and	complexity	of	human	experience.	To	inherently	know	that	“I	am	not	the	spectator,	I	am	involved”	(Merleau-Ponty,	2002,	p.	354)	is	to	acknowledge	the	potential	of	our	own	being	in	and	with	the	world	and	the	sheer	promise	of	revelations	that	can	enrich	human	understandings.	The	poetic	eye	and	the	phenomenological	eye	are	both	motivated	by	perception,	a	moment	of	wonder	that	echoes	and	resonates	in	a	place	where	knowledge	can	speak	most	profoundly	in	silences.			 	 	 	 	 In	the	silences	come	the	understandings.	Merleau-Ponty	writes:	“It	is	in	ourselves	that	we	shall	find	the	unity	of	phenomenology	and	its	true	sense”	(2007,	p.	56).	The	word	“unity”	provokes	a	process	where	the	interplay	of	perception	and	reflection,	of	living	through	a	“lived	110		through”	encounter	leads	to	a	coming	together	of	self	in	world	and	moreover,	an	elevated	sense	of	one	in	the	world.	I	am	standing	in	the	experience	and	yet	above	it	at	the	same	time.	To	me,	pure	phenomenology	is	not	a	possibility	and	this	is	due	to	my	poetic	sensibility	that	wants	to	speak	in	metaphors	and	implicitly.	Every	experience	gives	metaphoric	understandings.	My	phenomenological	attending	to	my	lived	experience	of	writing	“Promise”	allowed	me	to	enter	a	third	space	of	knowing,	where	insight	is	gained	when	paying	attention	to	the	nuances	in-between	the	witnessing	and	the	writing.	In	my	dialogue	highlighting	the	concept	of	distance,	this	particular	process	was	driven	with	the	intention	to	become	bodily	aware	in	and	to	the	very	flesh	and	bones	of	my	experience.	This	is	the	intimacy	of	a	body	that	goes	into	the	world	sensually	and	readily.			 To	dwell	in	this	textorium	is	to	enter	by	way	of	deep	reflection	as	a	pathway	in	which	to	appropriate	aspects	of	the	lived	experience	in	the	very	nature	of	its	primal	impressional	life	as	it	was	revealed.	As	I	consider	this	phenomenological	process,	I	contemplate	how	the	experience	is	(re)lived	on	the	page	and	how,	in	turn,	this	leads	to	a	deepening	and	strengthening	of	the	very	experience.	Evoking	these	particular	and	chosen	moments	of	my	lifeworld	in	a	contained	space	is	both	to	reduce	the	experience	to	its	essence	and	lift	it	at	the	same	time.	This,	I	conceptualize,	is	both	at	the	cross	of	horizontal	and	vertical,	bridging	the	world	we	write	of	with	the	spirit	of	an	experiencing	that	continues	to	rise.	This	becomes	a	(re)generative	endeavouring.	The	notion	of	evoking	an	experience,	a	“calling-into-being”	(Corbin,	1983,	p.	87),	is	powerful	in	the	nature	of	phenomenological	inquiry	in	that	we	evoke	the	experience	through	the	act	of	writing	as	much	as	the	text	itself	brings	us	face	to	111		face	with	what	we	have	lived	through.	In	poetic	understandings,	the	words	continue	to	make	meanings	upon	meanings	as	we	return	and	I	put	forth	here	that	both	poetry	and	phenomenology	is	writing	with	wings.			 To	turn	to	things	themselves	(Merleau-Ponty,	2007)	is	to	see	with	a	certain	courtesy	(Lilburn,	1997).	I	present	this	idea	of	turning	to	conceptualize	a	body	moving	and	facing	an	object	of	inquiry	that	resonates	with	a	keen	wanting	to	know	or	understand.	Wonder,	as	a	Merleau-Pontian	(2002)	prerequisite,	is	also	fuelled	by	a	sheer	desire	to	claim	the	experience	as	one’s	own.	To	consider	the	notion	of	presence	is	also	intriguing	in	that	to	be	present	in	the	writing	of	a	lived	experience	is	to	possess	a	different	type	of	presence	in	comparison	to	the	presence	felt	at	the	time	of	the	living	through.	What	I	found	is	that	to	bring	that	same	sort	of	presence	to	the	page,	the	burned	through	experience	that	has	imprinted	itself	on	the	body,	is	to	be	present	to	the	presence	of	what	occurred.	What	is	the	truth?	To	get	to	essence	is	no	easy	endeavour.	As	I	was	writing	about	writing,	these	layers	of	presence	became	more	pronounced.	To	be	engaged	in	both	a	metapoetic	and	phenomenological	treatment	is	to	exercise	the	nature	of	my	consciousness	as	it	cycles	in	perception,	memory,	and	reflection	in	body,	in	mind,	and	in	soul.				 As	the	poet’s	intention	is	to	create	the	appearance	of	experience	(Leavy,	2009),	phenomenology	is	to	explicate	the	essence	of	this	experience	with	a	primacy	that	is	perhaps	more	sobering.	As	poetry	lives	in	metaphors,	much	of	“Promise”	relies	on	the	unsaid	and	the	power	of	the	poetic	image.	I	also	consider	this	act	of	negotiation	in	“Entering”	in	what	is	chosen	and	what	ultimately	is	not	brought	to	the	page.	Which	factors	govern	my	own	powers	of	perception	upon	reflection?	Which	112		moments	have	value?	What	is	remembered	and	what	is	hidden?	What	is	lost	and	what	is	gained?			 In	my	future	revisiting	of	this	inquiry,	I	am	intrigued	in	what	it	can	still	become	in	the	spirit	of	the	unfinished	nature	of	phenomenology.	I	perceive	the	willingness	to	relearn	and	to	return	as	the	integrity	of	this	inquiry.	It	is	in	the	state	of	becomings	that	I	understand	being	in	the	world	as	an	eternal	process	of	experiencing	experience,	this	infinite	meditation	(Merleau-Ponty,	2007)	that	continues	to	give.	It	is	also	here	that	I	have	now	come	to	know	philosophy	as	a	place	for	perpetual	beginnings	(Merleau-Ponty,	2007).	Phenomenology,	like	poetry,	has	not	only	given	rise	to	a	heightened	attentiveness	of	seeing	and	being	but	a	space	to	continue	to	wander	and	meander	in	the	wonder	(Leggo,	2004a).	Here	I	stand	as	both	witness	and	participant.	Herein,	I	understand	how	some	thing	becomes.	I	affirm	that	writing,	for	me,	is	a	sacred	place	of	boundless	rays	of	light,	a	light	of	knowing	that	only	words	will	bring.			 	 	 And	I	am	understanding	what	it	means	to	be	literate	in	light.	113		Point	of	Light:	I	AM			 And	In	poetry	I	am	all	things.			 Poetry	reaches	into	the	very	soul	of	things	(Lakhani,	2010).		 In	poetry	I	am	a	soul	enclothed	in	poetic	form.			 In	the	words	and			 	 	 in			 	 the		white			 	 	 open		spaces			 	 of			 	 	 	 desire.			 I	am	form	and	formless.			 Where	else	can	I	be	both?		 Here,	in	poetry		 I			 just			 AM.	 				114		I	am	East	Africa		mystical,	material,	vibrant,	vulnerable,		rich	and	poor	moving	softly	through	my	evolving	worlds		I	am	my	young	mother	fleeing,	salvaging,	yearning,	carrying	me	in	her	arms	to	a	foreign	place	with	a	man	who	could	never	fulfill	her	dreams		I	am	Ali,	my	father,	in	the	garden,	weeding,	watering,	root-feeding,	tending	A	silent	form	of	love	ruby	red	in	rough	hands	blooming		I	am	Wilbur’s	Charlotte	43		saviour,	confidante,	champion,	giver	believing	in	the	power	of	friendship	even	when	she	did	not	believe	in	me		I	am	the	Pacific	Ocean	salty,	vast,	placid,	summer	holidays	on	Vancouver	Island	family	moments	enduring	through	loss		I	am	The	Color	Purple	44	sisterhood,	solidarity,	suffering,	strength	solace	in	the	moments	of	God’s	beauty	redeeming	grace	and	new	beginnings		I	am	artist,	researcher,	teacher	and	student	discovering,	conversing,	creating,	seeking	A	sliver	from	the	tree	of	knowledge	branching	up	and	up	into	Hope																																																											43	E.B.	White’s	(1952)	Charlotte’s	Web	is	one	of	my	first	book	memories	and	I	still	return	to	read	every	so	often.	44	Alice	Walker’s	(1982)	The	Color	Purple	moved	me	so	profoundly	as	a	young	adult	and	the	themes	and	lessons	gained	herein,	still	linger.	115		I	am	morning	powerwalks	Uphill	Uphill	Uphill	Uphill	Still	stopping—	to	revel	in	the	bare	beauty	of	a	lone	flower	bud	waiting	for	spring	Patient.	Dignified.	Understanding	that	all	things		will	reveal		itself		In		time.		 And	in	(re)search	as	revelation,	in	“I	AM,”	writing	becomes	my	mediation	and	my	meditation	on	identity.	And	perhaps	each	poem	is	about	an	identity.	I	am	engaging	in	“living	a	life	of	deep	meaning	through	perceptual	practices	that	reveal	what	was	once	hidden”	(Irwin,	as	cited	in	Pinar,	2004,	p.	9).	Here,	in	“I	AM”	are	some	of	the	essences	of	who	I	am.	I	feel	like	the	flower	at	the	end	of	my	poem,	of	four	years	a	blooming	in	this	schooling	of	slowness	and	forty	years	a	blooming	in	my	schooling	of	a	soul-in-learning.	Like	petals	of	my	heart	words	watering	seeds	of	an	understanding	Grace,	How	It	grows.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 			116		Point	of	Light:	The	Melody	of	My	Breathing				 Poems	are	rough	notations	of	the	music	we	are.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 (Rumi	in	Barks,	2003,	p.	27)		 I	open	with	the	philosopher-poet	Rumi	who	contemplates	on	both	the	nature	of	poetry	and	the	nature	of	human	being.	I	ruminate	on	his	notion	of	poems	as	expressing	an	immediacy	of	a	desire—this	roughness	he	speaks	of—to	express	and	capture	the	rhythms	of	our	lives	in	this	space	where	identity	is	music,	as	in	the	sound	of	the	wind	on	the	surface	of	the	ocean	or	the	echoing	resonances	of	a	bird’s	calling.	In	this	place	where	music	becomes	the	“notation”	and	representation	of	the	melody	of	experiencing	experience,	I	know	poetry	as	a	perpetual	“calling-into-being”	(Corbin,	1983,	p.	87),	that	is,	of	epiphanies	as	cyclical	as	the	seasons.				 As	a	painter’s	first	brushstroke	sets	a	colour	into	motion,	I	encounter	the	tones	and	hues	of	an	endless	hermeneutic	circle	in	poetic	seeing;	each	poetic	turning	a	phenomenological	place	of	heightened	presence	and	possibility	to	the	sea	and	spectrum	of	human	emotions.	Khan	(1994)	writes	of	music	in	twofold	understandings:	“We	shall	find	that	the	beats	of	the	pulse	and	the	heart,	the	inhaling	and	exhaling	of	the	breath,	are	all	the	work	of	rhythm”	(p.	74).	In	rhythm	that	is	both	breath	and	then	becomes	sound—inside	and	outside—music	is	our	primal	and	primary	utterance.	Moreover,	as	in	the	nature	of	our	beings,	the	whole	of	nature	is	also	breathing	and	becoming,	moving,	forming	and	expressing	life	in	line,	in	colour,	in	the	rising	and	the	falling	“and	the	signs	of	life	given	by	this	living	beauty	is	Music”	(p.	74).	Hence,	to	attune	to	the	rhythms	of	this	beauty	calling	is	to	harmonize	with	117		creation	and	the	Creator	of	this	Music	wherein	there	is	light,	a	profundity	as	“behind	all	manifestations	is	the	perfect	spirit,	the	spirit	of	wisdom”	(p.	73).	In	poetry,	I	experience	the	very	breath	and	breadth	of	creating,	creation	and	Creator.			 As	poet,	I	am	absorbing,	drawing	in	to	withdraw	again	into	a	Source	that	keeps	me	held	in	this	circle.	Rumi	speaks	of	poetry	as	a	“rough	notation,”	perhaps	acknowledging	the	limitations	of	form	that	cannot	truly	encapsulate	the	boundlessness	that	keeps	one	eternally	moving	in	and	out	and	through	the	realms	of	love,	dwelling.	In	poetry	is	where	I	touch	both	spheres	of	the	human	and	the	divine,	in	this	cross	of	horizontal	and	vertical,	of	material	meeting	spiritual.	Poetry	becomes	a	materialization	of	a	spiritual	enterprise	(Corbin,	1983).	In	this	third	space	of	both	experiencing	form	and	formlessness	is	“the	site	of	a	living	pedagogy…of	generative	possibilities	and	hope”	(Aoki,	2003/2005,	p.	429).	In	my	poetics	of	being	newness	comes,	in	a	washing	over	and	emerging	in	the	veritable	light	of	poetic	knowing	(Bachelard,	1964).	In	this	(re)generative	power	of	the	metaphor	one	can	be	and	experience	the	very	“plentitude	of	being”	(Esmail,	1998,	p.	72)	in	which	the	transcendental	resonances	give	and	echo.			 My	poems,	to	me,	are	a	suprasensual,	semiotic,	spiritual	chain	of	language	connecting	to	the	cosmos	that	is	governed	by	a	faith	that	opens	and	deepens	the	faculties	of	perception,	wherein	desire	becomes	“newness”	becomes	the	knowledge	becoming	love.	My	poems	are	living	spirituality,	a	“theoria”	(Lakhani,	2010),	a	way	of	engaging	the	world	(Leggo,	2004a),	where	world	with	faith	strengthen	into	authentic	ways	of	seeing	being.	In	turn,	the	discovery	of	knowledge	is	a	responsibility	enabling	better	understandings.	My	traditional	teachings	(re)mind	me	118		to	be	eternally	seeking	as	a	social	obligation	to	honour	and	nurture	the	full	potentiality	of	all	life.	In	poetry	I	am	a	soul-in-learning	wherein	the	words	I	speak	become	the	house	I	live	in	(Hafiz,	as	cited	in	Ladinsky,	1999).	In	this	homing,	in	language	as	this	house	of	being	(Heidegger,	1971),	I	am	in	relation,	always	in	the	middle	of	some	thing.			 In	this	contemplative	pedagogy	in	action,	I	become	“thought	and	soul	embodied	in	the	oneness	of	a	lived	moment”	(Aoki,	1992/2005,	p.	197).	As	Aoki	teaches	that	we	live	and	breathe	curriculum,	he	reaffirms	my	own	work	as	(re)searcher	and	revelatory:	I	become	the	music	becoming	me.	The	epiphany	is	that	poetry	is	the	dance,	is	the	whirling	into	the	Music.	As	Leonard	Cohen	(1984,	track	1)	sings	out:	“Lift	me	like	an	olive	branch	and	be	my	homeward	dove/Dance	me	to	the	end	of	love.”			 And	I	am	on	Rathtrevor	Beach45	and	I	am	seeking.	I	have	come	here	to	find	a	source	of	inspiration,	to	simply	feel	inspired	again.	And	what	transpired	transformed	my	own	being	into	an	“immanent	realm”	(Aoki,	1992/2005)	of	grace,	experiencing.	This	was	a	place	of	unfoldment,	of	where	there	was	a	poetic	order	of	things,	of	nature’s	revealing	and	unfurling	to	me	and	in	me.	In	this	unity	of	a	sensuous	symbiosis—of	a	calling	and	an	answering—the	landscape	“responds	to	my	emotions	and	calls	forth	feelings	from	me	in	return”	(Abram,	1997,	p.	33).	In	the	writing	of,	I	contemplate	how	the	poem	falls	into	its	own	self.	In	this	process	of																																																									45	Rathtrevor	Beach	is	in	Parksville,	British	Columbia.	At	low	tide,	the	ocean	recedes	a	kilometer	afar.	One	can	then	walk	to	what	feels	like	the	centre	of	the	ocean.				119		words	moving,	comes	what	I	can	only	call	a	hermeneutic	humility	towards	a	poem	that	fuels	the	desire	of	this	pilgrim	that	feels	and	knows	the	inspiration,	again.		Rathtrevor	Beach	One	summer	morning		On	Rathtrevor	beach	I	go	in	search	of	poems	On	the	wings	of	desire		To	discover		Words	that	give	music	To	a	longing	for		Lines	That	will	bloom	like	rows	of		Tulips	Reaching	To	the	Sun	Whose	gentle	gaze	Warms	its	petals	and	keeps	its	face	Vertical	and	musical	Dancing	to	the	rhythms	of	the		Softness	of	the	subtly	sensuous	wind		In	the	sand	seeking	I	pick	up	an	empty	shell	And	cradle	it	in	my	hands	To	then	trace	the	veritable	lines	That	give	the	perfect	pattern	to	its	Being	a	shell		Of	lines	that	I	wish	to	write	To	be	in	the	very	flesh	of	language	That	would	echo	the	inner	strings	Of	my	heart	That	I	find	somewhere	in	the	hollowness		Of	this	shell	which	in	its	angelic	beauty	Decorates	the	sand	And	I	as	I	lift	it	to	the	sky	It	recalls	a	butterfly		120		I	then	place	its	silent	wings		In-between	the	line	of	the	water	And	the	sand’s	edge	To	notice	the	lines	of	the	butterfly	shell	Continuing	in	the	oceans	rhythmic	calling	Repeating	unto	itself	in	rippling—	Lines	of	perpetual	meditation	Of	one	heart	beating	and	repeating		And	as	I	hearken	to	the	melody	of	the	ocean’s	breathing	Harmonizing	with	the	wind	I	begin	to	pray	and	follow	the	pulsating	lines	to	the	horizon	Onwards	to	the	sky	Where	for	a	moment	I	envision	my	own	hands	Whirling	with	the	whispering	clouds	Vertically	and	musically	Questing	with	unison	to	that	infinite	line	That	in	its	grace	and	givenness	Gives		To	a	poet	Her	soul’s	true	Lyrical	calling			On	Rathtrevor	Beach	I/eye	Found	Poetry.		 “On	Rathrevor	Beach,”	I	reaffirm	through	the	grace	of	poetry	itself,	the	central	thesis	and	heartbeat	of	this	dissertation	as	the	kinship	between	poetry	and	spiritual	contemplation	as	nourishing	and	nurturing	each	other.	On	the	physical	terrain	of	the	beach,	I	followed	the	signs	onwards	to	spiritual	spaces.	Herein,	I	became	a	follower	of	not	only	signs,	but	also	the	lines,	like	the	ones	on	my	own	hands	that	imprinted	these	moments	of	revealing	onto	my	soul.	And	If	I	wrote	this	poem	again,	I	would	want	to	write	about	the	lines	on	my	hands	like	the	lines	on	the	121		shell…the	hand	that	places	the	shell	in-between	the	line	of	the	sand	and	the	beginning	of	the	Ocean’s…the	lines	of	the	hand	that	writes	the	lines	too.		 This	poem,	in	its	own	becoming,	has	lit	the	path	for	me	to	enter	a	deeper	layer	of	my	(re)searching,	and	I	am	living	in	the	lines.	Herein,	is	the	poetic	order	of	things,	falling	into	a	cosmic	harmony,	and	all	around	Me,	is	the	poetry.	There,	is	a	unity:	a	unity	in	the	earth	that	breathes	this	oneness	into	all	living	things.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Breathe	unto	me.		In	turn,	represented	in	“Rathrevor”	is	that	I	am	a	diligent	follower	of	its	journey,	I	am	in	pursuit	of	the	purpose	that	guides	me,	this	purposing	in	poetry.	This	is	not	only	a	place	of	heightened	seeing,	but	where	all	senses	are	peaked.	Here	in	the	poetic	I/eye	is	to	be	in	a	place	where	seeing	and	hearing	are	harmonized.	Listening	gives	me	vision.	Aoki	(1990/2005)	writes	that	“the	time	is	ripe	for	us	to	call	upon	sonare	to	dwell	juxtaposed	with	videre.	It	seems	urgent	that	we	come	to	be	more	fully	sonorous	beings	than	we	are”	(p.	373).	In	my	work	that	speaks	of	the	eye,	I	do	not	only	place	primacy	on	my	ability	to	see	but	also	to	hear.	My	lyrical	(re)search	leads	me	to	a	place	where	there	is	musicality	and	when	I	enter	a	“deeper	realm	beyond	the	reach	of	the	eye,	a	realm	where	[I]	might	begin	to	hear	the	beat	of	the	earth’s	rhythm”	(Aoki,	1990/2005,	p.	375).	And	I	am	listening	to	the	melody.	In	this	music,	I	have	been	given	the	in/sight	to	a	listening.	On	Rathtrevor	Beach,	I	was	a	pilgrim	of	poetry	and	I	walked	with	Aoki’s	poetic	vision,	attuning	myself	to	the	music	of	the	sky	(Laude	&	McDonald,	2004)	and	revelling	in	the	lyrical	rhythms	of	the	land’s	echoing	with/to/through	me.	This	is	the	place	that	I	fully	envisioned	the	“Rhizome	in	the	Sky”	with	its	points	of	light,	and	this	poem	takes	me	a	little	closer	122		now,	suspended	in	one	of	those	spaces	in-between	light.		 	 	 		 	 	 	 	 Here	in-between	the	light	is	only	more	light.		 What	is	powerful	about	Aoki’s	vision	is	the	notion	of	the	chance,	that	is,	by	chance	to	listen,	to	hearken,	to	heed,	to	may	be	allowed	to	hear.	This	then,	is	revelation.	And	I	muse	on	the	music	of	the	primal	heartbeat	that	pulses	through	me	and	the	earth	symbiotically.	In	sound	there	is	light.	Poetry	is	the	unfolding	of	a	soul	opening	to	its	very	echoing	in	a	world	that	then	turns	to	us	and	I	see	this	as	a	process	of	attunement	to	a	life	song.	Poetry	is	the	melody	of	my	breathing.	This	is	most	intimate	and	sensuous	listening	to	the	soul-self.	And	in	theorizing	the	world	is	where	my	own	lyrical	and	philosophical	process	of	attuning	(Chambers,	Hasebe-Ludt,	Leggo	&	Sinner,	2012)	becomes	manifest.				 	 	 	 	 	 This	is	the	breath	and	the	breadth.		 In	my	walk	on	Rathrevor,	I	felt	guided	not	only	on	the	wings	of	my	poetic	desire,	but	by	Spirit	that	responded	to	my	intention.	In	this	place	is	a	purity,	that	is,	pure	intention	responds	with	pure	response.	And	after	my	encountering,	I	rushed	eagerly	back	to	the	cabin	skipping	with	the	surfacing	of	the	words	so	ready	and	ripe	and	rising	inside.	This	must	be	the	intimate	immensity	(Bachelard,	1964).	And	poetry	needed	to	seize	it	all,	now.	Like	the	rippling	lines	of	the	ocean’s	undulating	came	the	lines	strumming	my	heartstrings.	I	am	humming	with	the	world.		 		 Poetry	becomes	a	shifting	of	a	state	of	consciousness	as	well	as	“a	step	towards	eternity”	(Moore,	2005,	p.	15),	and	in	this	place	is	to	experience	the	profundity	of	love.	I	understand	now	what	it	is	to	feel	this	eternity	on	Earth,	a	123		boundlessness	of	experiencing.	In	poetry,	I	am	in-loving	with	the	world	and	this	nurtures	my	words	tinged	with	its	own	wisdom	that	allows	me	to	hear	the	music.	As	Bachelard	(1969)	writes,	the	poetic	place	is	a	space	where	“we	are	touching	the	realm	of	written	love”	(p.	7).	I	resonate	with	Coelho	(2008)	who	notions	that	when	you	do	something,	the	soul	of	the	world	is	affected,	and	to	contextualize	this	through	the	act	and	the	art	of	writing	poetry	is	to	grasp	the	sublime	“powers	of	language	to	transform	reality…in	deep	and	permanent	ways”	(Parini,	2008,	p.	7).			 Bachelard	(1964)	states	that	in	poetry,	there	is	a	“growth	of	being	in	every	instance”	(p.	5),	in	every	word	and	space	giving	in	meaning	making.	I	put	forth	that	in	this	being	becoming	(de	Cosson,	2002),	is	the	poetry	itself,	the	poet,	and	the	world,	all	illuminated.	The	poet’s	sole	inspiration,	then,	is	to	write	the	words	that	lift	the	world	into	meaning.	Parini	(2008)	writes,	“it	is	in	the	articulation	of	spiritual	lines	between	the	human	mind	and	the	world	of	external	reality	that	poets	find	their	truest	callings”	(p.	17).	In	this	spiritual	flight,	poetic	inquiry	is	the	wings	and	poetry’s	potential	is	a	shifting	of	consciousness	into	understanding	the	very	essence	of	things.			 To	theorize	creativity	as	soul	work	(Kates,	2010)	is	to	affirm	the	spiritual	sources	of	knowing	where	sheer	imagination	is	the	window	of	the	soul	opening	to	the	centering	of	one’s	heart.			 	 	 	 These	are	the	heartstrings	in	a	hearkening	into	listening.		And	this	is	where	my	own	illumination	resounded	with	Schuon’s	(2004)	words	calling	me	to	listen	to	the	melody	of	my	own	breathing,	breathing	with	the	earth	breathing	into	my	poetry.	124			 What	is	the	sense	of	Beauty	and	of	Art?		 To	show	the	way	into	our	inmost	Heart—		 To	listen	to	the	music	of	the	Sky;		 And	then	to	realize:	the	Song	was	I.	(Laude	&	McDonald,	2004,	p.	164)		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 And	the	sky	is	in	I/Eye.		 The	rhythms	of	poetic	discourse,	as	the	art	of	moving	together	(Laude,	2004)	is	where	poetry	reveals	itself	through	the	musicality	of	its	words	descending	and	then	ascending	and	transcending	into	lines	of	flight	reverberating	with	promise	and	possibilities.			 	 	 Poetry	is	the	notes	of	my	learning	and	tones	of	my	becoming.		To	seek	out	poetry	“as	participating	in	the	music	of	the	infinite”	(Laude,	2004,	p.	11)	is	to	recognize	that	in	this	encountering	comes	a	pattern	that	aligns	itself	with	creation	unfolding,	in	perennial	perpetual	patterns	of	images	and	sounds.	In	this	space,	as	on	Rathtrevor	Beach,	is	to	experience	a	seamless	unity	with	and	through	the	natural	world	where	through	the	act	of	poetization,	“all	psychic	forces	fall	into	harmony”	(Bachelard,	1969,	p.	16).	In	attuning	to	this	unity	of	poetry,	comes	a	“blessed	rage	for	order”	(Stevens,	as	cited	in	Parini,	2008,	p.	99)	that	mirrors	nature	and	the	witnessing	of	the	seasons	of	our	lives.			 To	associate	poetry	with	living	a	spiritual	life	is	to	be	in	the	constant	search	for	oneness	and	as	a	poet,	I	seek	out	this	union.	As	a	mystic,	I	am	driven	by	the	music	of	my	longing	to	be	with	the	Beloved,	inspired	by	the	ache	of	separation	but	also	the	beauty	of	finding	this	unity,	even	for	a	blessed	moment,	in	poetic	lines	where	poetry	is	“Music,	the	word	we	use	in	our	everyday	language,	is	nothing	less	than	the	picture	125		of	our	Beloved”	(Khan,	1994,	p.	73).	In	turn,	I	am	inspired	and	informed	by	Sufism	and	the	emphasis	on	the	mystical	and	poetic	expression	of	the	Human-Divine,	the	poetic	language	of	love.	I	am	seeking	to	get	closer	to	the	face	and	the	flesh	of	my	poetry.	And	in	the	sensual	throes	of	poetry	is	where	the	mystic	Hafez	once	poetically	asked	and	then	answered:			 Where	does	the	real	poetry			 Come	from?					 From	the	amorous	sighs				 In	this	moist	dark	when	making	love			 With	form	or			 Spirit.	(Ladinski,	1999,	p.	259)		And	in	my	soul	songs,	I	have	explored	the	notion	of	human	love	and	divine	love.	I	have	expressed	Godly	love	in	human	ways	and	human	love	as	Godly	love.	I	end	this	section	with	verses	from	“The	God	in	Me.”	In	writing	“Waiting,”	I	called	out	to	the	ocean	to	a	lover,	and	in	“The	God	in	Me,”	my	longing	was	fulfilled.	I	affirm	that	in	poetry,	my	life	has	found	love,	both	human	and	divine.	As	hooks	(1999)	writes,	“Love	is	a	transformative	force,	the	ultimate	expression	of	godliness”	(p.	117).				 And	I	had	spent	hours	listening	to	India	Arie’s	(2001,	track	8)	“Ready	for	Love”46	singing	out	the	verse	that	became	a	crying	out	to,	a	calling	out,	too.																																																										46	These	lyrics	are	from	“Ready	for	Love”	which	is	track	8	on	India	Arie’s	(2001)	album	entitled	“Acoustic	Soul.”	This	song	captures	the	sentiment	and	depth	of	feeling	I	was	experiencing.	See	YouTube	for	full	song:	https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxkMlS2nuU8		126		Arie	expresses	her	aching	desire	for	“A	man	who	loves	music	/	A	man	who	loves	art	/	Respects	the	spirit	world	/	And	thinks	with	his	heart.”			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 And	I	have	found	you.		The	God	in	Me	47	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 		Sunlight	flickers	across	your	face	 	 	 	 	 	A	sleepy	lover	softly	awakes	Sensual,	physical,	spiritual	are	we	Infinite,	boundless,	endless	is	He		My	waking	heart	sings	your	praise	My	very	soul	speaks	your	name	Yearning,	burning,	consuming	are	we	Eternal,	timeless,	endless	is	He		The	God	in	me	wants	to	be	close	to	you	The	God	in	me	wants	to	be	close	to	you	So	very	close	to	you....		Energy	like	I’ve	never	known	Pulls	me	into	your	very	core	Starlight,	moonlight,	firelight	pales	To	the	light	of	love	in	your	stare		He	knew	us	before	we	came	to	be	He	knew	you	would	be	loving	me	Two	lovers	in	God’s	master	plan	Making	poetry	with	our	hands		As	you	love	me…		Layla	and	Majnun48,	Rumi	and	Tabriz49																																																										47	These	lyrics	became	a	song	in	2006.	This	was	a	creative	departure	of	a	unique	collaboration	with	David	Marion	who	wrote	the	music	and	produced	the	track.	And	as	in	all	the	songs	in	this	dissertation,	Yasmine	Rajabali	is	the	vocalist.	You	can	listen	to	the	audio	track	here:	http://www.yasminemusic.com/words.html	48	I	make	reference	to	Persian	poet	Nizami’s	(1978)	spiritual	allegory	and	love	story	of	Layla	and	Majun	(R.	Gelpke,	trans.).		127		We	breathe	this	love,	this	reason	to	Be	Sensual,	physical,	spiritual	are	we	Infinite,	boundless,	endless	is	He		And	the	God	in	me	wants	me	to	be	close	to	you	So	very	close	to	you…																																																																																																																																																																																								49	I	make	reference	to	the	spiritual	love	shared	between	Rumi	and	his	teacher,	Shams	Tabrizi.	128		Point	of	Light:	Kneeling	and	Kissing	the	Ground				 I	think	it	pisses	God	off	if	you	walk	by	the	color	purple	in	a	field	somewhere		 and	don’t	notice	it.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 				(Walker,	1982,	p.	98)		 There	are	hundreds	of	ways	of	kneeling	and	kissing	the	ground.			 	 	 	 	 	 (Rumi,	as	cited	in	Barks,	2003,	p.	123)		 I	have	proclaimed	poetry	as	a	contemplative	act	and	intellectual	inquiry.	In	poetry	as	a	witnessing	through	words,	there	is	a	lifting	of	an	experience	into	an	elevated	ontological	understanding.	In	poetic	knowing	is	not	only	testimony,	but	also	a	an	act	of	remembering,	a	calling	to	language	that	pledges	to	be	in	remembrance	to	the	signs	of	the	sacred.	The	poetic	eye	is	the	eye	that	re(turns)	to	notice	the	colour	purple	in	the	fields,	that	faces	an	object	with	wonder	in	“the	light	of	its	divine	similitude”	(Lakhani,	2010,	p.	188).	In	the	act	of	poetry	the	turning	to	things	becomes	the	whirling	to	the	reverence	of	things.	To	participate	in	this	dance	of	remembrance	is	to	experience	the	spiritual	hermeneutics	of	the	dervish	in	the	act	of	interpreting	and	remembering	this	becoming.	In	this	remembrance,	comes	the	relinquishing	of	self	to	the	process	and	the	giving	of	self	to	what	lies	beyond.	I	have	proposed	that	poetry	can	be	a	contemplative	process	that	cognitively	and	emotionally	shifts	experiences	into	keen	insight	and	understanding,	in	a	union	of	actualizing	both	intellectual	and	imaginative	powers.	I	have	also	put	forth	that	this	process	is	a	spiritual	process	in	the	sense	that	we	experience	this	unity,	a	sense	of	interconnectedness	within	ourselves	and	with	the	earth	and	Spirit.	In	perceiving	129		poetry	as	a	poetics	of	light,	it	changes	what,	how,	and	whom	we	see	(Cheetham,	2012)	as	it	“makes	the	invisible	world	visible…reanimates	nature	for	us,	connecting	spirit	and	matter”	(Parini,	2008,	p.	181).	To	make	the	unseen	seen	is	to	engage	in	a	cycling	process	of	evocation	and	validation.			 On	this	note,	I	turn	to	explore	how	my	own	spiritual	practice	enters	the	alchemy	of	poetic	expression.	While	I	claim	that	all	poetry	is	contemplative	and	is	a	tuning	into	spiritual	ways	of	seeing,	I	do	not	claim	that	a	religious	practice	is	necessary	for	this	transaction.	However,	in	my	own	personal	embodied	experience	of	writing	poetry,	I	have	now	come	to	know	my	own	poetry	as	“spiritual	poetry”	and	in	the	heart	of	my	poetry	are	my	prayer	calls—this	evocation	and	validation	through	the	words	unfolding	in	each	poetic	turn	as	a	meditation	of	a	soul	in	its	becoming	to	know	itself.	Bakhtin	(1986)	writes,	“even	the	slightest	allusion	to	another’s	utterance	gives	the	speech	a	dialogical	turn”	(p.	94),	and	I	consider	the	evocation/validation	of	the	soul’s	speech	as	a	reciprocal	act	of	(re)turning	to	oneself	in	a	dialogic	of	desire	with	spirit.	Bakhtin	(1986)	continues	to	state	that	the	core	of	any	form	of	language	is	“reduced	to	the	spiritual	creativity	of	the	individuum”	(p.	67),	and	thus,	poetry	as	expressive	heightened	language	becomes	the	pinnacle	of	this	spiritual	creative	force.	It	is	here	where	the	sheer	integrity	of	imaginative	forces	is	relinquishing	to	the	prose	of	the	process.			 Corbin,	as	discussed	by	Cheetham	(2012),	proposes	that	the	language	of	prayer	is	the	ultimate	act	of	creativity	where	imagination	most	vividly	fulfills	its	ultimate	endeavour	in	human	life.	I	propose	that	the	act	of	creativity	and	imagination	becomes	a	prayerful	act	in	itself,	giving	and	reverberating	in	divine	130		lines.	In	the	access	of	spiritual	sources	of	knowing,	the	human	imagination	peaks.	This	is	a	vertical	space	where	I	have	come	to	understand	creativity	as	given	by	the	Creator.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Please	allow	me	to	see.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 I	pray	for	this	vision.		 In	the	heart	of	both	poetry	and	prayer	is	the	search	itself,	and	in	poetry	as	an	expression	of	religious	experience,	poetic	awareness	is	not	a	state	but	a	search(ing):	an	expression	of	knowing	that	IT	is	becoming.	And	how	does	love	become	more	love?	To	whirl	in	poetic	revelry	is	to	be	attuning	to	a	calling	that	is	longing	to	be	named	and	called	upon,	gracing	the	poet	with	the	flickering	play	of	light	in	the	journey	of	revealing.	In	poetry,	as	in	prayer,	is	an	epiphany	in	waiting.	And	I	wrote	these	lyrics	at	5:00	a.m.,	as	in	the	peaking	of	the	early	morning	came	the	speaking	of	the	soul.	Epiphany	50	(Rajabali,	Rajabali,	and	Cruz,	2004)		Day	embraces	the	dark	of	night	As	my	soul	wakes	to	the	light	Love,	itself,	fills	the	room	And	I	am	lost	in	you		Your	beauty	consumes	all	of	me	Every	breath	flows	rhythmically	Time	stands	still	eternally	And	I	am	feeling	you		Life,	sweet	life	Joy	through	the	pain	Sun	in	every	rain	Life,	oh	sweet	life	Love	is	the	key	To	all	its	mystery																																																									50	Please	see	supplementary	audio	track	for	song	“Epiphany.”	131		Black	is	white	Death	is	life	When	I’m	with	you	The	wrongs	are	right	You	illuminate,	rejuvenate,	reciprocate	You	are	my	fate		When	I	fell	you	gave	me	wings	To	fly	above	this	pain	within	I	am	the	kite	you	are	my	wind	And	I	am	loving	you		A	shooting	star	captured	in	my	heart	This	flicker	is	now	a	flame	As	every	time	I	connect	with	you	I	get	to	a	higher	plane…		Life,	sweet	life	Joy	through	the	pain	Sun	in	every	rain	Life,	oh	sweet	life	Love	is	the	key	To	all	its	mystery	Black	is	white	Death	is	life	When	I’m	with	you	The	wrongs	are	right	You	illuminate,	rejuvenate,	reciprocate	You	are	my	fate		 	 To	feel	the	warmth	of	poetic	revelation	is	where	aesthetic	space	is	a	place	to	tend	spirit,	a	place	to	engage	in	wide-awakeness	(Greene,	1967)	in	bringing	us	to	the	edge	of	the	existential	questions	where	“it”	may	never	arrive.	It	is	the	beauty	and	promise	of	the	searching	that	keeps	one	moving.	In	existentially	expressive	language,	the	spiritual	and	the	intellectual,	the	material	and	the	physical,	are	not	separate	entities,	but	they	nourish	each	other	in	a	giving	and	receiving	that	not	only	132		keeps	me	as	poet	in	remembrance,	but	reorients,	reintegrates,	(re)searches	and	reclaims	the	center.	In	poetry,	I	feel	the	centre	of	my	human	heart	touching	the	heart	of	a	presence	in	seeing	the	world	in	this	divine	similitude.	I	am	engaging	in	the	very	symphony	of	theophany	in	“liv[ing]	in	the	glory	of	love	and	the	light	of	beauty,	which	are	reflections	of	God”	(Gibran,	1993,	p.	85).	I	hearten	to	McDonald’s	(2004)	evocative	phrase:	“If	song	is	the	root	of	poetry,	then	prayer	is	its	flower”	(p.	xv).	To	be	in	the	petals	of	poetic	grace	is	where	“the	consciousness	of	wonder	blossoms	forth”	(Bachelard,	1969,	p.	1),	and	in	spiritual	poetry,	poets	may	with	hope,	“reflect	a	knowledge	of	God	which	has	become	so	ingrained	in	the	substance	of	the	poet’s	soul	that	when	she	opens	her	mouth,	flowers	bloom	in	every	word”	(McDonald,	2004,	p.	xv).			 In	my	early	morning	prayer,	this	“knowledge	of	God”	is	one	that	is	a	felt	sense	of	presence,	a	light	that	dances	in	the	chest	which	comes	from	the	embracing	silence	sitting	in	the	stillness	of	a	prayer	that	rises	musically	and	vertically	into	the	early	morning	sky.	Poetic	awareness	lifts	the	experience	even	higher	on	a	line	of	flight	where	poetry	and	prayer	share	that	same	line.	And	I	am	discovering	that	poetry	is	pure	presence,	not	only	of	the	writer	and	of	the	reader	but	of	the	spirit	that	enters	its	creation.	In	philosophical	and	spiritual	lines,	poetry	offers	a	quietly	nuanced	portrait	of	a	relationship	with	silence.		The	breeze	at	dawn	has	secrets	to	tell	you,	Don’t	go	back	to	sleep.		 	 	 	 	 	 (Rumi,	as	cited	in	Barks,	1997,	p.	3)	133		4:15	a.m.	At	4:15	a.m.	I	drive	alone	To	morning	prayer	Embarking	on	Burrard	bridge	The	silent	stoic	structure	That	crosses	me	into	the	Womb	of	the	city	Still	in	slumberous	silence	Enshrouded	in	the	soft	resonance	Of	lights	that	will	disappear	into	the	break	Of	the	morning—	I	peer	up	and	see	a	woman	Silhouetted	in	the	high	window	of	her	Apartment	Illuminated	by	the	one	Sole	light	Remnants	of	the	night	That	lingers	behind	her	As	she	gazes	upon	the	Lonely	harbour	of	Boats	sleeping	on	the	gentle	Breath	of	the	ocean		Is	she	too	seeking	salvation	in	the	mercy	Of	this	eager	early	morning?		In	silence,	I	now	enter	this	space	this	place	In-between	Night	and	the	Day	Being	and	the	Becoming	Unsaid	and	the	said	Where	desire	reveals	itself	in	each	Wanting	breath		How	I	long	for	You	and	I		To	sit	here	together	in	this	Silence	134		With	no	speech	to		Separate	Us	And		I	imagine	how	our	words	Would	then	bloom	Into	flowers	that	would	Lift	up	From	our	hearts	and	through	Our	mouths	and	shower	Us	with		Petals	of	Grace				135		Point	of	Light:	The	Lifting	of	the	Poet			 A	poem’s	greatest	eloquence	lies	in	its	ability	to	transcend	itself.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 (Lakhani,	2010,	p.	223)			 As	I	have	proposed	poetry	as	grace	both	descending	and	then	ascending,	I	am	intrigued	with	the	verticality	of	the	poetic	experience,	which	I	have	conceptualized	as	lines	of	light.	Steinbock	(2007)	defines	verticality	as	a	“vector	of	mystery	and	reverence”	(p.	13).	In	this	third	space	of	being	exists	the	promise	of	transcendence.	Poetry,	as	“artistically	expressed	language	in	a	heightened	state”	(Leavy,	2009,	p.	64),	becomes	what	Irwin	(2004)	refers	to	as	“borderland	pedagogy”	(p.	140).	Poetry	exists	on	the	edges	of	things.	My	poetic	intention	to	move	through	the	periphery	allows	me	to	enter	the	centre	of	an	experience.	And	there	is	always	some	richness	here.	The	poet	and	poem	are	both	crossers	of	boundaries	where	meaning	making	is	vulnerable,	vibrant,	and	open	to	the	circular	and	vertical	dimensions	of	human	experience.	Dwelling	in	the	poetic	I/eye	means	to	be	in	a	place	of	intention.			 	 	 And	the	world	around	me,	at	this	moment,	allows	me	to	see.		To	lift	an	object	into	meaning	is	to	be	aware	that	the	very	object	of	our	inquiry	has	something	to	give	us—that	objects	are	in	themselves	for	us	(Merleau-Ponty,	2007).	Poetry	is	a	living	praxis	against	the	lapse	into	a	forgetfulness	of	being	(Heidegger,	1995).			 	 	 	 	 This	being	of	ourselves	being	with	others,	being.			 In	poetry	there	is	evocation,	and	its	power	of	provocation	stirs	one	into	seeing.	In	poetry	as	a	phenomenology	of	the	spirit	(Bachelard,	1964)	is	where	I	am	136		knowing	the	soul	as	a	“sensorium	of	transcendence”	(Voegelin,	2000,	p.	147).	Poetry	seeks	sensually	into	meaning	while	engaging	with	mystery.	To	be	a	poet	is	to	be	open	to	transcendence,	where	in	the	afterglow	of	poetry	are	silences	still	shaking	the	soul	of	experiencing.		 Ring	the	bell	of	poetic	intentions	And	let	it	resound	upon	my	soul!	If	lyric	be	the	bell	(Zwicky,	1992)	Then	I	shall	be	the	vessel	Oh!	Listen	To	all	this	music	I	hold	And	I	am	ringing…		 To	lift	meaning	is	also	to	lift	the	spirit	of	inquiry,	where	keen	contemplation	becomes	the	highest	expression	of	human	endeavour,	of	a	human	seeking	understanding	and	lighting	a	personal	path	to	knowing	a	world	of	a	multitude	of	meanings.	In	my	witnessing	the	soft	spinning	of	the	whirling	dervish,	I	have	“withnessed”	a	space	where	body,	mind	and	soul	are	in	unity,	where	the	silence	inside	resonates	with	light	that	enters	the	eyes,	the	mind	and	the	heart.	Poetry	is	my	whirling,	my	method,	my	craft,	my	prayer	and	my	pedagogy.	In	words	I	am	lifted	to	see	my	world(s).	In	poetry	there	is	always	a	rising	above.	Within	the	horizons	of	my	inquiry	is	the	sun	of	understanding	that	breaks	through	the	dawn	of	my	lyrical	callings.			 And	it	is	here	where	I	have	wept	in	poetry,	through	poetry,	with	the	profundity	of	the	love	in	which	I	am	writing	and	experiencing	a	“quality	of	awareness	that	sees	newness,	truth	and	beauty”	(Meyer,	2006,	p.	165).	To	experience	transcendence	is	to	be	drawn	out	of	the	mundane	into	a	sublime	space	of	137		inner	presence	where	newness	flows	over	and	over	in	perpetual	awakenings,	a	contemplation	now	magnified	by	its	own	immensity	(Bachelard,	1964).	Contemplation	is	also	a	state	of	givenness,	always	giving.			 To	lift	one’s	self	and	the	world	into	being	through	words	is	to	see	the	possibility	of	the	wor(l)d’s	vulnerable	vibrations.	In	turn,	this	vulnerability	is	part	of	an	impassioned	soul	that	“participates	in	an	inner	light”	(Bachelard,	1964,	p.	xxi).	To	write	poetry	is	to	experience	the	fever	of	a	soul’s	calling	into	language	that	reverberates	upon	itself.	As	Parini	(2008)	writes,	“poetry	extends	the	boundaries	of	thought	by	extending	the	boundaries	of	expression	itself	”	(p.	8).	To	experience	poetry	as	transcendence	is	to	engage	in	the	very	capaciousness	of	its	calling.	And	in	this	dissertation,	I	am	engaging	in	the	capaciousness	and	spaciousness	of	poetry.			 To	lift	the	world	through	poetic	expression	is	also	to	discover	our	non-autonomous	being	as	“an	infinity	of	relations”	(Merleau-Ponty,	2002,	p.	377),	where	all	is	integrally	continuous	and	“all	beauty	in	animals	and	plants	is	a	silent,	enduring	form	of	love	and	yearning”	(Rilke,	1984,	p.	37).	In	the	music	of	transcendence,	the	poet	partakes	in	the	call	and	response	of	the	natural	world	in	an	ongoing	dialogic	where	we	are	both	observer	and	participant.	What	is	IT	to	be	both?	In	this	rich	understanding	as	poet,	I	ruminate	on	standing	back	and	stepping	in.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 Poetry	stands	back	and	steps	in.			 To	be	called	to	a	poetic	encounter	as	Husserl’s	“interplay	of	intentionality”	(Steinbock,	2007,	p.	9)	is	to	see	nature	as	not	only	the	setting	of	our	own	life,	but	also	how	our	presence	is	felt	in	the	natural	world.	The	poet	sees	nature	evoking	us	evoking	the	nature	of	our	own	being.	When	we	are	in	poetry,	we	lift	our	138		interconnected	evolving	worlds	into	meanings	where	the	language	of	transcendence	is	a	universal	inspirited	silence.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 Poetry	relates	and	is	relational.			 Bachelard	(1964)	writes	of	the	poetic	encounter:	“The	dialectics	of	inspiration	and	talent	become	clear	if	we	consider	their	two	poles:	the	soul	and	the	mind”	(p.	xxi).	As	I	have	been	attending	to	both	the	intellect	and	the	soul	in	this	investigation,	I	also	then	ruminate	on	the	body	that	writes,	the	poet’s	hand	that	transmits	transcendence	by	writing	the	state	of	a	soul	(Hirshfield,	1997).	In	poetry	is	both	a	touching	and	transcendence.		 	 	 	 	 And	poetry	makes	the	unknown	more	known.	In	poetry	the	words	are	perpetually	performing	into	the	poetic	order	of	things,	a	unity	guided	by	trust	in	the	conviction	that	some	thing	will	faithfully	unfold.		Poetry	is	wholeness	coming	into	order	words	following	the	line	of	a	mind	dropping	down	and		down	and		down	over	and	over	coming	into	order	colouring	my	poetic	imagination	descending	then	ascending	139		to	transcending	UP.		 And	I	ask	what	is	the	hue	of	my	poem	herein?	It	is	green.	“Aunty	Yasmine”	is	evoked	through	a	steady	heartbeat	rhythm	that	both	calls	and	answers.	It	gives	profoundly	in	both	grief	and	joy	cycling	between	time	and	space	through	self	and	other.	In	seeking	is	where	the	learning	becomes	the	knowing,	and	where	the	knowing	leads	to	spirit.		 	 	 	 	 And	I	remember	you	with	each	word.		 	 	 	 	 Over	and	over		 	 	 	 	 I	(re)turn		 	 	 	 	 In.	 	 	I	had	originally	written	a	few	sparse	verses	in	2012	but	could	not	finish.	Yet,	the	words	lingered,	waiting	to	be	named.	It	was	through	not	only	inspiration,	but	also,	awaiting	the	cultivating	conditions	that	provoked	it	back	into	being	and	becoming,	a	poem	in	two	years.		 	 	 	 	 	 Poetry	asks:	Please	be	patient.	Here,	in	“Aunty	Yasmine”	is	a	slow	soft	burning	flame	that	is	both	personal	and	pedagogical	in	the	deep	understanding	that	time	and	space	has	its	rooted	place	in	a	learning	life.	And	I	am	learning	that	dwelling	in	the	I/eye	takes	time.		 Even			 After			 All	this	time		 The	Sun	never	says	to	the	Earth,		 "You	owe	me."		 	140			 Look		 What	happens		 With	a	love	like	that,		 It	lights	the			 Whole			 Sky.	(Hafiz,	as	cited	in	Ladinsky,	1999,	p.	34)		Aunty	Yasmine	51	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 			It	was	five	years	ago	that	you	left	this	world	aching	for	your	fervent	green	eyes	and	a	laughter	that	would	resound	heavenward	I	carry	your	resonance	of	echoing	laughter	in	the	hollowness	of	my	heart	that	harbours	mounting	memories	of	a	life	filled	with	wondrous	wit	and	musical	wisdoms		 	 	 	 	 “It’s	all	relative”	she	would	propose	and	pause.		 	 	 	 	 “Your	relatives	and	my	relatives.”	 																					I	remember	in	Vancouver	a	family	celebration	in	which	you	graced	dancing	with	my	Mother	two	sisters	revelling	in	the	circling	rhythm	of	untold	stories	unfolding	in	the	arms	they	outstretched	heavenward																																																																																																																								If	I	would	have	known																																																									51	This	poem	has	been	published	in:	Rajabali,	A.	(2014).	Aunty	Yasmine.	Journal	of	Artistic	&	Creative	Education,	(8)1,	84–89.				141		that	you	were	destined	not	to	return	to	this	earthly	life	I	would	have	held	you	longer	stronger	placing	your	head	against	my	lamenting	heart—	in	the	grieving	gravity	of	the	ensuing	loss	of	the	rising		swirling		sublime	sadness		And	I	am	told	when	I	was	a	baby	filled	with	fever	you	carried	me	on	your	bike	in	a	basket	through	Nakuru		meandering	the	dust	and	the	dark	heat	with	a	brightness	that	only	love	can	carry	how	you	must	have	rode	feisty,	fearless	and	fifteen		At	one,	I	fled	from	my	homeland	in	which	you	remained	rooted	to	the	stoic	soil	while	the	sorrow	of	exile	embodied	in	my	one	tiny	hand	remaining	in	the	East	clutching	the	memories	that	I	will	not	remember	but	that	echo	 echo	 echo	 echo	 echo	 echo		At	twenty-one,	I	returned		to	the	sensual	smells	awakening	every	cell	of	my	being	142		filling	the	longing	with	a	patient	profound	love		The	thread		I	once	held	in	that	tiny	hand	unfurling	as	we	rode	meandering	in	your	car	through	the	streets	of	Nakuru	with	a	brightness	that	only	love	can	carry	“It	is	all	relative”	she	would	propose	and	pause.	“Your	relatives	and	my	relatives.”	I	am	also	told		that	when	you	died	in	that	small	African	town	your	body	black	from	cancer		but	your	eyes	still	resilient	green	and	that	your	soul	could	be		seen		as	it	lifted	up,	out	and	through	your	mouth	heavenward			I	knew	you	were	leaving	and	oceans	away	on	the	beach	in	Jericho	I	felt	you	gently	go	 go	 go	 go	 go	 go	And	I	fell	to	my	knees	And	buried	my	head	in	the	bile	bitter	grass	But	as	I	looked	up	I	saw	your	spirit	riding	with	the	clouds	illuminating	the	skies	placidly	green	and	leaving	ribbons	of	luminous	laughter	over	the	mountain	over	the	valleys	to	the	Unknown	143		Point	of	Light:	Cart	Pusher			 I	am	inspired	by	Irigaray’s	(2002)	The	Way	of	Love	and	her	notion	of	“Letting	be	Transcendence”	where	she	writes	with	a	mystical	hand:	“Air	is	what	is	left	common	between	subjects	living	in	different	worlds.	It	is	the	elemental	of	the	universe,	of	the	life	starting	from	which	it	is	possible	to	elaborate	the	transcendental”	(p.	67).	I	bring	forth	this	idea	of	the	communal	air	that	exists	in-between	of	human	beings	breathing,	as	I	consider	the	role	that	I	play	in	the	“lifting”	of	others,	in	letting	the	Other	be	transcendent,	in	seeing	and	attuning	to	the	spirit	of	Other	in	a	world	where	air	is	what	we	share.	This	air	is	a	conduit	of	“natural	and	spiritual	life”	(Irigaray,	2002,	p.	67).	In	witnessing	the	spinning	of	the	dervish,	I	reflect	upon	how	my	own	presence	has	contributed	to	her	experience	of	merging	with	the	divine	and	dance,	and	how,	in	turn,	we	both	emerge	through	the	dialogic	as	witness	and	participant	harmonizing	and	becoming,	in	a	sense,	some	part	of	each	other.	This	union	of	synergy	and	soul	lifting	a	space	of	spirit	that	carries	each	other	in	this	passage	in-between,	is	where	humanity	is	bridged,	in	the	attuning	and	communing	in	Irigaray’s	(2002)	air.	I	propose	that	in	experiencing	this	nearness,	particularly	in	the	graces	of	silent	synergy,	is	the	closest	we	can	come	to	seeing	another’s	spirit.	In	turn,	to	feel	this	nearness	of	the	other	is	not	to	fully	become	the	other,	but	to	intimately	experience	the	commonality	of	souls	living,	moving,	being	and	becoming	in	the	ebb	and	flow	of	one	spiritual	ocean.	Like	the	ocean	we	share	the	depths	of	human	emotions.				 	 	 	 	 	 I	want	to	breathe	in	the	sea	breeze	too.		144			 I	bring	this	notion	into	this	dissertation	on	bridging	poetry	and	spirituality,	to	attend	to	how	poetry	gives	voice	and	grace,	and,	in	turn,	lifts	others	into	their	own	“shining”	(Heidegger,	1971).	I	believe	in	the	personal	healing	power	of	poetry	in	my	own	life,	but	I	also	recognize	that	it	serves	me	as	a	poet	to	write	lines	that	negotiate	my	own	relative	being	in	this	world.	How	my	education	in	poetry	has	allowed	me	to	move	more	compassionately	through	my	revolving	worlds.	And	as	I	asked	in	my	Prologue,	how	can	this	work	be	in/of	service	to	others?	And	I	now	ask:	can	poetry	be	a	form	of	service?	 		 I	have	written	about	the	pain,	suffering,	and	wounds	of	others	through	my	own	eyes,	and,	in	turn,	in	the	act	of	writing	the	lines,	I	have	become	softer,	gentle,	with	a	heightened	awareness	of	“Me,	My	Self	and	Other”	(Meyer,	2010).	In	poetry	as	communion	with	others,	I	have	experienced	“a	natural	sense	of	compassion	[that]	arises	as	we	realize	how	other	beings	desire	much	of	what	we	desire”	(Mills,	2010,	p.	14).	In	this	breadth,	poetry	is	also	a	spiritual	act	as	it	speaks	the	language	of	my	own	encountering	moving	towards	both	longing	and	co-belonging	(Irigaray,	2002;	Meyer,	2010).	I	am	moving	with	an	intention	that	breeds	interconnectedness.	Poetry	is	not	only	singular	but	allows	for	pluralistic	understandings.	Poetry,	as	this	way	of	love,	is	where	grace	not	only	ascends	and	descends	but	also	transcends	to	a	space	where	the	Other	redeems	their	essential	grace.	It	is	also	in	this	grace	where	there	is	light,	not	only	the	light	of	illumination,	but	the	light	of	a	soul	illuminating.			 In	my	poem,	“Cart	Pusher,”	which	I	consider	a	union	of	the	poetic	and	the	sociological	(Richardson,	1992),	I	envision	both	the	lightness	and	the	darkness	flickering	in	unison,	creating	a	shadow	that,	in	essence,	becomes	the	poem	itself.	The	145		integrity	of	the	image	of	the	“Cart	Pusher”	comes	from	a	poetic	intention	to	give	the	words	as	pearls,	both	luminous	and	illuminating.	In	turn,	I	also	consider	utterances	as	silences	and	how	poetry	as	a	dialogical	act	is	a	conversation	between	souls-in-waiting.			 	 	 And	dwelling	in	the	poetic	I/Eye	is	towards	knowing	Other.	Cart	Pusher	I	pass	her		almost	fleetingly	hastening	to	stop	momentarily	on	the	bustling	city	street	corner	as	she	purposefully	pushes		her	burgeoning	cart	a	residue	of	remnants		in	a	life	left	wheeling	heavy	strident	rhythms	of	longing	and	immediate	despair			I	see	her	unexpectedly	wanting	to	see	her	as	I	lightly	turn	the	corner	savouring	the	Saturday	evening	air	in	anticipation	of	the	jovial	companions	waiting	In	the	nearby	restaurant	that	promises	a	succulent	steak	and	robust	red	wine		the	warmth	and	wonder	of	the	privilege	of	not	being	the	Other	woman	whose	gaze			I	hold	momentarily—	146			And	I	envision	her	running	to	the	open	waking	arms	of	her	mother	on	a	green	pasture	of	desire	and	dreams	I,	too	harbour	and	hold		Herstory	I	will	never		know	drowning	in	the	piercing	calls	of	the	city	in	which	she	disappears	and		is	gone.		If	I	am	to	believe	that	“I	live	in	a	world	of	others’	words”	52	then	her	resigned	silence		spews	forth	the	utterances		she	does	not	say	And	I	wear	her	brokenness	in	this	poem	as	a	string	of	pearls	that	glow	with	regal	resilience	as	she	pushes	her	cart	under	the	murky	street	lamp	nameless.	voiceless.	emptiness.	casting	shadows	through	the	depths																																																									52	Mikhail	Bakhtin	(1986,	p.	143)	who	writes	of	the	dialogical	act	of	speech.					147		of	this	unforgiving	foraged	city.				148		Point	of	Light:	Ali	53				 “You	must	share	the	poem	with	him,”	my	sister	Yasmine	exclaims,	and	I	respond	quickly	with	an	emphatic	“No.”	“I	am	not	ready	and	plus,	it	is	Mother’s	day	and	it	needs	to	be	all	about	her.	Not	good	timing	and…”	I	want	to	continue	but	Yasmine	interjects,	“But,	you	keep	putting	it	off	and	it	would	make	him	so	happy	and	we	will	all	be	together.	Mom	is	all	about	everyone	and	sharing.	It	will	be	glorious.	I	know	it.”	She	assures	me	in	her	usual	ways.	“I	think	you	need	this	too,	why	are	you	resisting?	What	is	IT	that	holds	you	back?	Just	let	it	go,	Anar.	How	much	time	does	one	have?	I	have	a	feeling…	it	will	make	him	so	happy.	He	needs	this.”	And	I	take	a	moment	to	process	what	she	says,	but	“I	am	not	ready,	Yas.	I	will	find	the	opening	when	it	comes.	I	am	at	peace	with	that.	I	promise	I	will	read	it	to	him,	in	time.”		She	doesn’t	say	anything.	A	quick	goodbye	and	“love	you.”		She	texts	me	that	Sunday	morning:	“Do	not	forget	the	camembert	and	the	cumin	crackers	and	your	poems.”	Smiley	face.	And	we	gather	for	Mother’s	Day	at	my	sister’s	apartment	overlooking	the	Pacific	Ocean.	It	is	a	strikingly	blue	day,	not	much	cloud	but	a	little	faint	chill	in	the	air.	If	you																																																									53	The	poem	“Ali”	in	this	chapter	has	been	published.	This	is	the	authors	accepted	manuscript	of	a	poem	published	as	the	version	of	record	in	Journal	of	Poetry	Therapy	28th	June	2016	http://www.tandfonline.com/http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08893675.2016.1199509				149		stand	away	from	the	sun,	you	would	feel	the	wind.	It	is	spring	still	becoming.	Everything	today	feels	in	the	between.	I	am	on	her	balcony	with	my	laptop	as	the	family	lingers	here	and	there	and	inside	and	outside.		I	am	writing	also,	a	few	words	here	and	there.	And	my	brother-in-law,	Geoffroy,	calls	for	me	to	come	in	for	crepes	and	coffee.	“Let’s	sit	together	now,	come.”	I	am	always	struck	at	how	maternal	he	is.	And	we	eat	and	laugh	at	dad’s	usual	and	animated	jokes.	“Let	me	tell	you	one	about	the	old	man	who	had	trouble	hearing	and	went	to	see	his	doctor.”	Okay,	we	have	heard	it	before	but	we	still	giggle	into	a	guffaw.	And	in	the	contented	afterglow	of	a	satiating	meal	with	espressos	in	hand,	there	is	a	silence.	We	shift	almost	ceremoniously	from	the	table	to	the	couch	and	a	few	chairs.	Yasmine	proclaims,	“Anar	is	going	to	read	some	poems.”	And	dad’s	eyes	open	wide	and	flicker	with	interest.	“Oh	poetry,	yes.	You	didn’t	respond	back	to	the	last	Rumi	quote	I	sent	you.	Was	it	not	profound?”	And	I,	“Oh,	yes	it	was	good,	Dad.	The	one	about	all	of	us	just	being	visitors	in	the	world,	I	may	add	that	to	my	dissertation.”	Mom	is	typically	quiet	and	Rahima	puts	on	another	playlist	of	soul	softly	in	the	background.	Stevie	Wonder	(1982/2000,	track	8)	and	his	“Ribbon	in	the	Sky.”	I	look	up.	 	And	I	say,	“No”	Okay	then,	everyone	gestures.	Silence.	150		Silence.	The	sun	comes	in,	fills	the	room	and	there	is	some	thing	in	the	air.	All	feels	a	bit	unusual.	There	is	slight	chill,	only	a	little.	And	then	Karim	smiles	at	me,	tender	and	telling.	And	I	just	begin.	I	hear	the	sound	of	my	own	voice	and	I	am	in	utter	wonder.	Who	is	this	talking?	Everyone	is	leaning	into	a	listening	(Kramer,	2014).	And,	there	is	a	different	type	of	silence	now.	And	there	is	no	preamble.	There	is	no	precursor.	There	is	no	prologue.	There	is	just	the	poetry	of	“Ali”.	Ali	54	Gardens	are	a	place	where	the	ephemeral	meets	the	eternal	where	the	eternal	meets	the	hand	of	man55—	the	hands	of	my	father	down	deep	in	the	ripe	rich	soil	dwelling	in	the	garden	for	40	years	of		weeding	watering	pruning	rootfeeding			tending	to																																																									54	Please	see	supplementary	audio	file	for	spoken	word	track	“Ali.”	55	Excerpt	of	a	speech	made	by	the	Aga	Khan	at	the	inauguration	of	the	Aga	Khan	Park	in	Toronto	on	May	25th,	2015.	Retrieved	from	http://ismaili.net/heritage/node/31816	151		the	flowers	he	brings	for	me	on	special	days	like	the	rhododendron	he	planted		when	I	was	ten		to	bloom	only	on	my	birthday	in	May	petals	of	grace	peeking		outside	my	bedroom	window	to	the	graceless	child	a	father		who	knew	the	wisdom	of	plants	cultivating	a	silent	form	of	love	I	could	not	see	then	his	heart	in	the	soul	of	a	flower	ruby	red	in	rough	hands		how	his	faith	came	in	these	moments	blossoming		I	keenly	remember	now	my	kindergarden	class	in	our	backyard	and	how	we	sat	in	a	circle	eating	red	delicious	apples	picked	from	our	tree	he	put	in	a	silver	bucket	for	our	eager	hands		and	vanilla	ice	cream	too	he	knew	that	gardens	can	make	friends	to	the	only	child	of	colour	a	rootedness	to	the	unrooted	the	fruits	of	his	own	spiritual	labour	flowering			One	recent	Sunday	I	asked	him:	dad,	can	you	tell	me	about	the	garden?	yes,	yes	we	have	152		pink	dogwood	Japanese	plum	azaleas…deciduous	(he	stressed)	boxwood	hedges	I	made	them	round	five	of	them,	for	each	one	of	us,	rosa	hunsa	rowan	mountain	ash	forsythia	camelia	clematis…deeply	fragrant	it	is	crimson	king	maple		yucca	gloriosa	lavender	heather	bamboo	banana	bartlet	pear	bing	cherry	peach…		And	I	started	to	feel	the	poetry	in	the	nature	of	his	own	creations	wearing	the	colours	of	his	spirit	a	unity	in	this	work	with	the	hands	that	sowed	the	earth	that	always	gave	back—	to	him		You	have	made	me	most	happy	by	asking	me,	Anar	as	he	brought	me	some	Jasmine		but,	I	was	silent		And	on	the	way	home	I	said	to	myself	softly	Oh,	dad,	you	have	made	me	most	happy		too		153			 My	voice	falters	in	the	end	becoming	soft	and	timid.	Yasmine’s	tears	fall	and	she	lets	them.	She	looks	a	bit	childlike	and	yet	mature.	Here	we	all	are	in	the	in-between	again.		“Yes,	I	know,	yes,	I	know.”	Our	eyes	speak	to	each	other.	And	Mom’s	are	wet	and	soft.	Rahima’s	are	closed,	slowly	open	as	she	turns	to	face	me.	I	still	remember	how	she	turned.	And	my	father	proclaims,	“A	poet	is	not	made,	a	poet	is	born	and	she	takes	in	everything.	She	sees	things	we	don’t	even	stop	to	think	about.	A	poet	sees…”		 	 	 	 	 	 Poetry	attends	to	the	beauty	of	the	nuance.		And	then	I	begin	to	read	more…		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Poetry	is	the	“more.”	I	read	“Sandals	in	the	Snow.”	I	read	“Three.”	And	then	Rahima	says	to	me,	“Do	you	remember	I	used	to	say	‘Ana	gone	school’	and	wait	for	you	by	the	door?”		And	before	she	could	utter	another	word,	I	just	begin.		“Ana	gone	school?”		she	would	ask	my	mother	as	she	awakened	to	spend	the	morning	pressing	154		her	three-year-old	face	against	the	frosted	window	pane…”		 And	we	are	all	in	rhythm	now	in	the	music	of	this	poetic	encountering	where	Karim	speaks	out	uncharacteristically,	asking,	now	read	mine.	And	here	we	all	sat	for	the	hour	that	changed	us	all.	Some	thing	had	lifted.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Poetry,	a	homing	in.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Poetry,	a	healing	in.	 		Dad	rises	to	come	sit	close	to	me.		“Now,	let	me	tell	you	about	the	hummingbirds	and	Rumi.”		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Oh	yes,	dad,	oh	yes,		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 My	face,	aglow		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 I	am	one	wing		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 You			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Are			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 The	other.								155		Point	of	Light:	Karim				 Poetry	is	the	human	heart	speaking	in	its	own	melody.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 (Angelou,	2010,	p.	15)		 In	the	tones	of	poetic	discourse	as	experiencing	the	hues	of	human	becoming,	I	contextualize	poetry	as	akin	to	spiritual	expression,	that	is,	a	(re)awakening	to	human	being	and	standing	in	the	very	fullness	of	life.	And	poetry	colours	my	imagination	into	shades	of	understanding.	In	the	shade	there	is	both	darkness	and	lightness.	It	is	in	this	space	where	creativity	knows	no	frontiers—as	in	the	birds	in	my	poem	“Three”—	in	poetic	purposing	setting	alight	and	reviving	“the	spiritual	vision	of	imagination”(Lakhani,	2010,	p.	228).			 In	this	space	of	learning	where	poetry	reaches	into	colourful,	vertical,	and	musical	realms	to	(re)turn	onto	the	page,	then	nourishes	the	soul	whose	“language	is	at	home	in	poetic	imagery”	(Moore,	2005,	p.	10).	Poetry	is	a	pathway	for	me	to	evoke	and	to	invoke	by	creating	the	conditions	for	the	soul	to	manifest	in	learning	that	may	linger.	Poetry	is	reaching	towards	the	soul	of	things,	and	in	poetry’s	essence	is	the	heart	of	the	experience.	My	poetry	(re)awakens,	(re)inspires,	(re)lives,	and	revives	what	lies	at	the	ontological	core	of	human	being,	entering	into	a	place	of	perpetual	newness.			 	 	 	 Poetry	is	about	the	eye/I	that	can	still	see	newness.			 This	becomes	a	spiritual	place	that	gives	a	strengthening	in	a	crystallization	of	keen	understandings,	wherein	“spirituality	should	not	be	a	way	of	escaping	from	the	world	but	actively	engaging	in	it”	(Khan,	2008,	p.	129)	towards	living	ethically,	156		purposefully	and	lovingly.	Cohen	(1997)	writes	that	what	“our	education	and	culture	should	be	for	is	preparing	the	heart	for	that	journey	outside	of	the	ribs”	(p.	199).	In	my	offering,	Karim,	there	is	a	heart	that	beats	in,	out,	and	through	the	poem.	The	hermeneutic	rhythm	that	I	ride	while	writing	the	poem	brings	me	to	the	shores	of	understanding	that	is	not	only	at	the	conjuncture	of	the	vertical	and	horizontal,	but	what	I	conceptualize	as	a	river	of	swirling	eddies.	And	this	poem	whirls.	It	journeys	from	present,	to	past,	returning	to	present,	into	a	profundity	where	what	remains	is	the	heartbeat	of	all	of	my	poetry,	pure	love.			 In	Karim	is	where	human	love	is	deepened	into	an	understanding	that	could	only	have	come	through	a	relinquishing	to	the	light	of	a	poetic	calling	that	filled	me	with	utter	surprise	and	wonder.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 And	I/eye	engaged	with	this	light.		In	the	melancholy	of	this	poem,	I	tuned	into	another	being,	in	(re)living	a	history	evoking	itself	through	a	poetic	knowing	that	brings	with	it	a	rushing	of	grace.	I	am	most	human	breathing	into	poems,	indwelling.	I	am	most	human	when	I	am	brought	into	the	abode	of	what	lies	beyond,	reminding	me	somehow	of	both	the	vastness	and	smallness	of	who	I	am.	And	in	attuning	to	the	music	of	being	comes	the	benevolence	of	a	knowing:			 This	being	human	is	a	guest	house			 Every	morning,	a	new	arrival.		 A	joy,	a	depression,	a	meanness,		 some	momentary	awareness	comes		 as	an	unexpected	visitor.	(Rumi	in	Barks,	1997,	p.	109)	And	in	“Karim”	I	am	the	guest	house,	the	poetess	conduit	that	somehow	brings	him	157		into	an	understanding.	What	guides	the	pen	then?		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 It	must	be	love		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Here,		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Is	the	heart.		Karim	56	I	am	reading	Bakhtin	57		His	words	spewed		Across	my	desk	Rendering	another	Sunday	lost	In	a	dense	sea	of	language		Karim	is	watching		Bugs	Bunny	cartoons	Rising	laughter	of	a	45	year-old	man	With	the	tender	soul	of	a	child	Innocent	to	a	fault	Wanting	of	love		A	young	boy	leaving	Africa	With	his	uncle	shot	in	the	field	No	clothes,	no	photographs,	no	returning	Only	memories	of	a	previous	life			May	endure		Not	knowing….		The	snow	that	is	Montreal	A	young	boy	who	looks		From	the	tiny	plane	window	To	a	white	blanket	A	dark	face	A	family	displaced	And	the	rising	angers	of	the	house																																																										56	Please	see	supplementary	audio	file	for	spoken	word	track	“Karim.”	57	I	refer	to	Bakhtin’s	(1986)	work	Speech	genres	and	other	late	essays.	I	am	inspired	by	his	notion	that	“I	live	in	a	world	of	others’	words”	(p.	143).		158		His	father	loses	his	fingers	To	a	merciless	machine	In	a	factory	he	despises	A	once	wealthy	man	now	poor	In	spirit		This	same	hand	that	used	to	Beat	the	young	boy	With	sticks		For	loving	all	new	things	For	wanting	change	For	music,	for	cartoons	The	fingers	never	recovered	A	relationship		Disjointed	as	the	hand		Is		Now	He	is	wanting	of	love		He	looks	to	me		With	his	cartoon	heart	beating	Outside	of	his	chest		What’s	up	doc?	Would	you	like	some	tea?	It	may	help	you	Yes,	I	say,	yes		Never	being	in	love	with	him	more	Than	I	am	Now									159		Point	of	Light:	Mother	Tongue		 		 A	story	has	a	beginning.	A	poem	begins.	We	begin	in	the	middle	of	things,	our		 bodies	holding	this	history,	our	words	struggling	to	know	themselves.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 (Stewart,	2010,	p.	86)			 In	poetry	I	explore	my	identity	where	words	become	a	conduit	for	expressing	who	I	am.	And	I	become	on	the	page.	Poetry	harbours	a	deepening	desire	for	connection	to	the	past	and	a	hopefulness	for	the	future.	As	I	turn	into	each	poetic	line,	I	am	turning	into	myself.	And	to	be	on	a	blank	page	is	where	there	is	tension,	where	words	struggle	and	run	up	against	my	mind	in	a	rushing	to	emerge.	But	the	words,	they	start	from	the	heart.	And	I	negotiate	my	own	identity	in	a	body	that	holds	poetry.	Poignantly,	although	I	lost	my	native	language	when	I	came	to	Canada,	I	have	gained	the	language	of	poetry.	This	is	a	language	born	from	my	soul	and	in	the	tongue	that	speaks	the	words	is	where	poetry	becomes	the	whole	body	that	feels,	tastes,	touches,	and	remembers.		Mother	Tongue	58	I	could	not	speak	my	mother	tongue	a	baby	of	exile	I	left	Dar-e-salam	when	I	was	one	from	the	red	aching	dirt	to	the	green	vast	promising	pastures	I	made	Canada	my	home	English	please		 	 	 Assimilate.	Integrate.	Reciprocate.	I	spoke	it.	I	became	it.	I	owned	it.																																																									58	Please	see	supplementary	audio	file	for	spoken	word	track	“Mother	Tongue.”	160		My	own		language	languishing	into	the	distant	hazy	setting	Tanzanian	Sun	dropping		into		the		depths		of	the	unknown		In	the	summers,	my	grandparents	would	visit	Nanibapa,	a	proud	man	in	a	constant	brown	suit	and	fedora	I,	often,	ponder	at	his	photograph		perched	on	my	parents	antique	wooden	piano	gathering	specks	of	settling	dust	where	he	remains	furnishing	his	medals	of	honour,	the	stories	of	which	I	do	not	know	lost		inside		my	mother	tongue		I	recall	the	mornings		he	would	eat	a	slow	purposeful	breakfast—	warm	milk	with	cornflakes	and	chai,	Uganda	toast,	yellow,	that	would	disappear	into	the	hot	tea	to	be	fetched	out	with	a	spoon		slurping	the	only	language	we	fully	shared	beyond	the	broken	offerings		of	English	and	Gujarati	Our	distance	as	apparent	as	those	couples	who	eat	meals	in	a	ritualistic	silence	in	gestures	that	speak	of	the	immediate	desires	of		a	few	drops	of	milk,		a	cube	of	sugar,	a	brown	speckled	ripening	banana		161			 Oh,	how	our	lives	met	in	this	in-between		 of		 time		 space		 and		 culture		 and			 how	I	long	to	speak	to	you	now		 Nanibapa	I	would	say:		 		 Khem	cho	aage,	themai	tick	che			 	 Thema	nana	hutha	thuma	su	karatha	59		 	 How	are	you	grandfather,	all	is	well?		 	 Please	tell	me	about	your	youth,		 	 Who	were	you?	But	what	I	have	are	these	memories	heavy,		at	times,	dissolving	like	the	Uganda	toast		into	the	chai;	Wet.	Sloppy.	Ready	to	be	lifted	and	consumed	as	these	words	I	write	that	bring	you		up	and	out	and		back			in	to		me.																																																									59	I	attempt	a	loose	transliteration	of	Gujarati.		162		Point	of	Light:	Opening	Silent	Wings			 I	(re)turn	to	the	beginning	of	this	dissertation	where	I	state	that	this	(re)search	represents	a	pledge	to	pedagogical	encounters	that	nurture	spiritual	literacy.	Through	the	journey	of	this	work,	I	have	fully	endeavoured	in	my	creative	calling	where	being	in	the	poetic	I/eye	has	brought	me	to	the	thresholds	of	myself.	In	experiencing	these	thresholds,	I	have	discovered	the	boundless	nature	of	my	being,	that	is,	where	search	brings	discovery	of	one’s	own	authentic	self	as	being	in	the	world.	In	this	space	I	have	come	to	know	what	light	is	and	poetry	always	brings	me	to	light.	To	feel	the	luminescence	of	a	poetic	knowing	is	to	experience	a	spiritual	radiance	where	words	spread	their	wings.	Through	the	lines	of	my	poem	“Fear,”	I	trace	the	line	of	my	own	life	back	to	a	moment	in	a	classroom	when	I	was	nine	where	I	stood	on	the	gateway	of	some	thing	that	I	am	only	now	coming	to	fully	know.	As	an	artist,	researcher	and	teacher,	I	am	reaffirming	that	contemplation	is	an	essential	part	of	learning.		Fear		You	will	write	a	poem	the	teacher	announced	I	was	an	awkward	nine	a	shabby	purple	sweater		chubby	fingers		with	bangs	my	mother	cut	uneven	and	short	to	show	the	sole	dark	face	of	uneasiness	in	a	classroom	of	white	a	child	pulled	from	the	East		163		now	in	the	West	unrest	in	the	heart	strings	of	a	young	soul	needing	to	feel	needed	now	You	can	write	on	anything	the	teacher	said	it	is	due	tomorrow		I	took	the	pencil	to	the	paper		and	I	wrote			 	 	 	 	 	Fear			 	 	 	 	 	What	is	it?		 	 	 	 	 	It	is	illusion,	it	is	confusion	the	words	coming	that	I	did	not	know	but	knew	me	I	was	lifting	it	was	Light	rising	in	my	young	heart	who	started	knowing	lyrical	lines	luminously	descending		to	the	final	line,	lamenting:		 	 	 	 	 There	is	one	thing	that	fear	is	not	and	that	is			 	 	 	 	 courage	I	was	nine	What	did	I	know?	What	did	I	know?		I	stood	in	line	to	show		the	teacher	my	poem	the	girl	before	me	a	bounty	of	blonde		hair		straightly	cut	bangs	perfectly	sitting	upon	164		sapphire	eyes	shining		Did	you	copy	this	poem?	the	teacher	accused	me	I	was		 	 	 	 		 	 	 	 dropping			 	 	 	 	 dropping		 	 	 	 	 	 dropping	inside			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 of	me	meekly	speaking	I	didn’t	copy	This	is	mine	she	gave	me	a	checkmark	a	mark—	a	mark—	she	left	me	with		a	mark—		I	ran	home	at	lunch	carried	by	the	heart	in	my	belly	bursting	through	the	front	door	to	find	my	mother	sitting	on	the	edge	of	her	king-size	bed	with	the	bold	African	print	colouring	covered	with	laundry	as	she	softly	sang	to		the	love	songs	on	the	tiny	rusty	radio	that	gave	music	to	a	loneliness	a	haziness	of	a	sunlit	memory	now	of		a	young	mother	in	yearning:			 		 Strumming	my	pain	with	his	fingers	60	 	 		 Singing	my	life	with	his	words																																																									60	Lyrics	to	“Killing	me	Softy”	sung	by	Roberta	Flack	and	written	by	Norman	Gimbel	(1973,	track	1).	165			And	I	offered	my	poem	to	the	hands	that	once	held	me	so	close	on	the	plane	of	exile	 	the	young	mother	with	long	ebony	hair	and	eager	hazel	eyes	carried	with	the	promise	of	a	life	and	of	a	love	carried	with	Fear—	the	poem	that	I	had	written		weeping	she	places	it	on	the	fridge	And		the	pain	mixed	with	beauty	that		we	shared	between	us	in	the	in-between	of	us	still	remaining	still	lingering	in	the	gaps	and	spaces	of	a	lone	poem	that	speaks		in	the	silences	of	a	moment	of	light	that	I	experienced	in	poetry	when	I	was		only	nine		 		 At	the	age	of	nine,	I	discovered	poetic	expression.	This	was	a	place	where	I	felt	guided	on	the	wings	of	poetic	desire	by	a	spirit	that	responded	eagerly	to	my	calling	and	gave	me	the	path	to	write	myself	into	the	light	of	knowing.	This	was	also	the	space	where	each	poetic	turn	became	a	rumination	and	reflection	of	a	young	life	in	its	becoming,	where	poetic	creation	became	a	spiritual	expression	arisen	out	of	a	contemplative	process.	Through	this	process	came	meaning	towards	healing.	This	was	the	onset,	the	beginning	of	my	knowing	poetry	as	touching	the	realms	of	a	written	love	(Bachelard,	1969),	where	the	sublime	powers	of	language	could	not	only	transform	one’s	reality,	but	also	create	a	bridge	of	understanding.		166			 The	poem	“Fear”	affirms	a	pedagogical	moment	that	was	ripe	with	richness	in	which	the	few	verses	I	penned	as	a	child,	provided	a	powerful	medium	in	which	to	express	my	own	internal	fears	and	most	profoundly,	the	journey	and	the	fear	of	my	parents,	who	as	new	immigrants,	were	trying	to	assimilate	to	a	foreign	place.	There	were	many	layers	of	discovery	here	in	what	was	said	and	unsaid	but	still	pronounced.	This	was	my	negotiation	of	identity,	that	is,	a	discovery	of	my	young	self	being	raw,	authentic	and	vulnerable,	but	yet	finding	courage	through	this	veritable	process	of	writing.	I	identify	this	process,	now,	as	a	giving	of	a	certain	grace	afforded	through	poetic	expression.	Through	each	word	and	each	turn,	there	was	a	becoming	into.	The	particular	classroom	experience	that	I	recall	in	this	poem,	which	I	still	remember	so	vividly,	speaks	to	the	notion	that	I	was	not	seen	for	whom	I	was	or	who	I	could	become.	In	stating	this,	I	reflect	on	memory	and	what	and	how	it	remembers.			 	 	 	 	 	 How	does	one	want	to	be	remembered?		In	turn,	there	was	an	absence	of	what	I	have	come	to	know	as	the	spirit	in/of	education.	I	deeply	resonate	with	Kessler	(2010)	who	writes:		 When	the	soul	is	present	in	education,	attention	shifts.	We	listen	with	great		 care	not	only	to	what	is	spoken	but	also	to	the	messages	between	the		 words−tones,	gestures	and	the	flicker	of	feeling	across	the	face.	We		 concentrate	on	what	has	heart	and	meaning.	The	yearning,	wonder,	wisdom,		 fear,	and	confusion	of	students	become	central	to	the	curriculum.	(p.	58)			And	it	was	in-between	the	words	that	I	found	a	certain	space,	this	grace,	in	which	to	speak	a	truth	that	needed	to	be	proclaimed,	negotiated,	and	affirmed.	It	was	not	in	167		the	classroom	that	I	gained	this	affirmation.	In	the	classroom	I	became	a	wounded	poet	in	waiting.	The	gifts	did	come	with	the	experience	I	shared	with	my	mother,	but	what	if	the	teacher	had	recognized	and	seen	Me	and	what	I	was	expressing	in	this	potent	pedagogical	place	of	promise?	What	difference	would	this	have	made	to	a	child	of	exile	who	was	in	the	very	processes	of	becoming?	I	echo	Götz’s	(1997)	claim	that	the	teacher	needs	to	know	what	the	soul	is,	to	recognize	its	presences	and	resonances.	In	this	poem	was	the	young	soul	that	was	revealing	itself	in	wide-awakeness	(Greene,	1967),	in	a	discovery	for	both	language	and	self,	in	what	was	a	pinnacle	of	a	true	pedagogical	encountering.	In	turn,	I	affirm	that	“spirituality	is	one	of	the	most	important	qualities	a	teacher	can	develop”	(Götz,	1997,	p.	201).	To	see	teaching	through	the	lens	of	spirit	is	to	embrace	the	notion	that	all	human	beings	have	a	higher	level	of	consciousness	and	capability.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 I	AM	so	much	more.		 It	is	important,	herein,	to	return	to	the	notion	of	spirituality	conceptualized	as	the	“tuning	of	the	heart”	(Khan,	2012,	p.	174	),	and	this	(re)search	represents	my	own	process	of	attunement,	this	self-work	of	what	I	have	referred	to	as	my	own	schooling	in	slowness.	In	this	purposeful	and	paced	process,	I	have	become	more	intuitive	in	my	own	teaching	practices	as	a	teacher	and	educator	of	the	English	Language.	Through	this	self-development,	I	am	learning	compassion,	passion,	patience,	promise,	and	potential.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 And	one	must	start	with	the	Self.	I	see	teaching	as	a	place	that	allows	Others	to	affirm	and	redeem	their	essential	human	graces	and	where	we	can	offer	these	spaces	across	the	curriculum	168		for	contemplative	engagement	and	communion.	To	pursue	a	teaching	life,	then,	is	a	pledge	to	actualize	human	potentialities,	the	seen	and	the	unseen,	to	see	a	spirit-in-learning	where	the	very	spirit	of	learning	is	both	teacher	and	student	witnessing	a	journey	of	perpetual	becomings.	I	affirm	Aoki	(1992/2005)	who	writes	that	“thought	and	soul	merge	in	a	oneness	of	a	lived	moment”	(p.	196).	I	resonate	with	this	notion	as	it	not	only	gives	primacy	to	the	present,	but	to	the	layers	of	a	life’s	history	towards	pedagogical	experiences	that	see	the	whole	person	in	learning.	Teaching	with	spirit	acknowledges	both	“thought	and	soul”	as	symbiotic	entities.	That	is,	to	become	intuitive	and	attentive	to	what	can	be	all	three:	a	cognitive,	emotional,	and	spiritual	shift	of	being	in	a	heightened	living	and	learning	experience	that	has	the	capacity	to	be	profound,	transformative	and	enduring.	Herein,	to	consider	spirituality	in	the	educational	context	is	to	acknowledge	that	the	notion	of	transcendence	is	limited	“not	only	[to]	the	mystical	realm	.	.	.	but	also	secular	experiences	of	the	extraordinary	in	the	arts,	athletics,	academics”	(Kessler,	2010,	p.	65).	And	how	can	we	create	more	spaces	and	places	in	education	for	a	contemplative	connection,	for	a	purposeful	slowing	down?			 Many	years	later	I	returned	to	the	writing	of	poetry,	to	know	and	experience	poetry	as	the	keen	“articulation	of	contemplative	perception”	(Laude,	2004,	p.	11).	My	life	has	been	a	lyrical	one,	dedicated	to	a	deeper	understanding	of	the	poetic	I/eye.	In	my	(re)search	I	have	reflected,	documented,	and	analyzed	my	own	embodied	experiencing	through	the	art	of	poetry	as	a	way	to	understand	a	phenomenon,	both	material	and	spiritual.	I	am	writing	towards	feeling	concepts	that	are	mysterious	and	elusive,	at	times,	but	mystical,	meaningful,	and	moving.	In	169		getting	closer	to	the	very	flesh	of	understanding	poetry	as	a	poet,	researcher,	and	teacher,	I	am	committed	to	holistic	educational	practices	in	response	to	the	mechanistic	paradigms	of	learning—focused	mainly	on	knowledge	acquisition	and	achievement—that	were	part	of	my	own	educational	history.	As	I	reflect	on	being	a	young	student	who	was	lost	in	her	sense	of	self,	I	see	many	missed	opportunities	where	I	could	have	developed	my	passions,	where	learning	could	have	been	inspired,	where	schooling	could	have	brought	hope	for	the	future.	And	I	felt	that	my	education	had	failed	me.	It	failed	to	nurture	and	nourish	me	as	a	whole	person:	intellectually,	emotionally,	and	spiritually.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 But	I	am	being	nourished	now.			 What	is	guiding	and	underlying	my	own	questing	in	this	multilayered	inquiry	is	the	need	for	a	mystical	and	poetic	vision	to	release	the	potential	for/of	spirit	in	our	secular	society	(Tacey,	2004).	I	am	learning	to	be	in	the	poetics	of	teaching	in	ways	that	allow	for	a	broader	fuller	inclusive	vision	of	life	that	embraces	all	peoples	and	works	towards	pluralistic	understandings.	In	the	poetics	of	teaching	comes	a	keen	sense	of	intuition	such	as	in	the	writing	of	my	poetry,	this	knowing	of	where	we	should	go	now.	Intuition	is	the	heart	of	the	intellect.	All	parts	of	me	engaged	so	fully	with	the	rhythms	of	a	keen	attention(ing)	coupled	with	a	purposing	towards	the	learning	at/in	hand.	There	is	music	here,	too.		 	Miller	(2005)	writes	that	“addressing	spirituality	in	the	curriculum	can	mean	reawakening	students	to	a	sense	of	awe	and	wonder	.	.	.	a	deepening	sense	of	connection	to	the	cosmos”	(p.	2).	In	this	context	(re)awakening	is	to	give	students	a	sense	of	permission	to	reclaim	what	they	already	have	while	preserving	one’s	own	170		being,	and	there	is	a	strengthening	here.	As	teacher,	I	seek	out	the	ways	to	invoke,	evoke,	and	provoke	the	very	heart	of	inquiry.	In	teaching	with	wings	is	a	(re)calling	to	a	soul	space	that	can	be	life	affirming.	In	the	diverse	ways	that	this	inner	silence	or	communion	can	be	cultivated	in	a	teaching	moment,	I	affirm	that	poetry	can	imaginally	revive	a	spiritual	vision	(Lakhani,	2010)	of	life	and	create	a	transitional	space	of	learning.	In	transition,	I	ask:	What	does	it	mean	to	teach	in	the	in-between?				 My	own	poetic	practice	has	deepened	the	relations	to	the	world(s)	I	inhabit	and,	in	turn,	I	see	poetry	in	pedagogy	as	creative,	critical,	connecting,	and	contemplative.	I	echo	Kates	(2005)	who	writes	of	aesthetic	expression	that	“creative	activity	attunes	us	to	the	soul’s	rhythms	as	a	pathway	of	meaning,	mystery	and	wonder”	(p.	203),	and	I	add	that	the	creative	then	opens	the	pathways	into	the	critical	eye/I.	Koch	(1999)	poignantly	writes	that	“the	power	to	see	the	world	in	strong,	fresh	and	beautiful	ways	is	a	possession	of	all	students	and	the	desire	to	express	that	vision	is	a	strong	educational	force”	(p.	45).			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 What	do	you	see?	On	Teaching	a	Poem	“I	ask	them	to	take	a	poem	and	hold	it	up	to	the	light	like	a	colour	slide”	61		And	if	the	poem	were	a	hue	what	shade	would	it	be	Scarlet	red,	teal	blue,	steel	grey	or	white,	pure	and	pristine	or	any	other	colour	in-between		And	if	the	poem	took	a	shape																																																									61	Billy	Collins	(2001)	opening	lines	in	his	poem	about	teaching	poetry	titled	“Introduction	to	Poetry”	(p.	16).	171		what	would	you	draw	a	circle,	a	triangle,	a	diamond,	square,	or	hexagon	or	maybe	just	a	crisscross	of	lines	or	a	tree	or	a	heart	beating	bold	and	freely		And	if	the	poem	were	a	melody	what	tune	does	it	carry	a	soft	subtle	humming	sound,	a	steady	rhythmic	drum	pronounced	and	loud	a	symphony,	lively	that	crescendo’s		and	bellows	of	strings	and	of	cellos	or	perhaps	a	Gregorian	chant		or	electric	guitar		an	alto	saxophone	or	maybe	it	just	has	an	echo			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 What	is	IT	that	echoes?	And	if	the	poem	were	a	creature	would	it	“hoot	hoot”	like	an	owl	or	creep	up	like	a	steely	panther	on	a	prey	or	buzz	like	a	diligent	worker	bee	Roar	fierce	like	a	lion	on	the	open	vast	plains		or	float	sublime	like	a	white	swan	in	a	crisp	blue	lake	Perhaps	it	stands	proud	like	a	peacock’s	feathers																						 	 	 	 	 	 	 		 	 Well,	here	I	AM.	Or	does	it	slither	like	a	snake	in	and	out	and	around	or	fly	like	a	hummingbird	flapping	baby	wings	or	“caw	caw”	like	a	plume	crow	raw	and	unrelenting		If	the	poem	were	Nature	would	it	be	a	tumultuous	ocean	or	the	placid	calm	summer	seas		 	 	 	 	 And	what	does	lie	beneath?	Or	wild	wondrous	waves	you	are	riding		172		coming	home	then	with	the	tide	or	lost	inside	a	whirlpool	swirling		suddenly		dropping	down	like	a			 water		 	 fall		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Oh,	here	I	go...		Or	a	dense	forest	prickly	path	dark	and	unknown	Is	there	heat	exuding	like	the	soaring	August	sun	burning	bright	in	the	cloudless	sky	or	tulips	reaching	up	and	up	petals	then	falling	around	the	green	One			 	 by			 	 	 	 one	Does	it	feel	like	a	timid	wind	in	Spring	or	like	a	distant	fading	star	you	have	to	stretch	to	see	 	 	 		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Oh,	there	it	is...	or	like	rain	driving	hard		against	the	pavement	pitter			 	 	 patter			 pitter			 	 	 	 	 patter	against	the	car	window	shield	wipers	on	blurry	now	clear		And	imagine	if	the	poem	had	hands	does	it	reach	out	to	caress	you	on	the	cheek	or	grab	you	unexpectedly		 	 	 	 		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Listen	to	me		or	resting	hands	on	your	shoulders	or	on	your	heart	then	giving		to	you	a	firm	handshake		173		and	pointing	to	you	the	way		 	 	 	 		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 in	some	way	to	feeling	to	finding	to	touching	to	loving	to	witnessing		to	fearing	to	revering	to	needing	to	seeing	to	sighing	to	vying	to	praying	to	dancing	to	wanting	to	wondering	to	knowing	to	yearning	to	believing	to	dreaming	to	breathing—	or	just		to	Being.			 And	many	years	after	my	“Fear”	poem,	I	asked	a	young	student	if	she	would	like	to	write	a	poem.	She	has	just	come	to	Canada	from	China	and	was	quite	meek	and	timid,	but	she	relished	literature,	short	stories,	and	poetry	and	was	quite	eager	to	discuss	and	write	about	them.	I	offer	her	the	“I	Am”	prompt	where	she	can	explore	her	identity	through	objects	and	places	that	she	felt	most	defined	her.	The	metaphors	came	quite	readily	and	she	wrote	with	a	beautiful	vulnerability	the	ending	lines	that	still	reside	in	my	mind:			174		“I	am	the	plane	that	took	me	to	Canada	Big	and	unforgettable—	There	is	a	blue	sign	on	it	Like	the	colour	of	the	sky	I	am	a	flower	on	the	way	to	the	new	school	Yellowish	flower,	animated	and	beautiful.”	(Zhang,	2012)62		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Oh,	how	I	understand		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Thought	I.		And	to	write	on	the	thresholds	of	being	(Bachelard,	1964)	is	a	place	to	discover	“something	new	in	the	language,	language	that	now	belongs	to	the	writer”	(Behn	&	Twichell,	1992,	p.	xiii)	while	also	owning	a	deeper	sense	of	self,	connecting	and	then	emerging,	with	a	purpose	and	with	hope.	I	have	found	this	in	my	own	poetry	where	there	is	a	duality	of	experience	in	a	single	line	that	gives	the	layers	of	rich	meanings.	Poetry	is	a	life	force	coursing	through	the	veins	bringing	wisdom	from	within.				 I	(re)turn	to	a	Rumi	quote	often,	“There	are	hundreds	of	ways	of	kneeling	and	kissing	the	ground”	(Barks,	2003,	p.	123).	This	speaks	to	me	as	a	teacher,	in	the	plurality	of	ways	in	which	one	can	engage	in	a	space	of	contemplation	and	connection.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 And	a	search	can	take	many	forms.	Greene	(1967)	calls	the	aesthetic	experience	as	one	that	honours	the	multiplicity	of	visions.	In	turn,	in	this	context	of	pluralism,	poets	speak	of	their	own	being	and																																																									62	You	can	find	an	evocative	collection	of	student	poets	on	my	teaching	site:	http://pearllearning.com		175		seeing	while	witnessing	the	living	humanity	of	a	shared	world.	In	this	sharing	of	humanity,	reading	poetry	can	aid	us	towards	understanding	the	Other.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 I	have	hands	and	a	heart	too.	To	be	listening,	hearing,	reading,	and	writing	poetry	is	to	attune	to	the	“soul’s	language	at	home	in	poetic	imagery	and	mystery”	(Moore,	2005,	p.	10).	I	put	forth,	then,	that	to	engage	in	poetry	is	also	to	find	one’s	way	back	home.	Creating	spaces	and	places	for	“witnessing	the	contents	of	our	consciousness”	(Hart,	2004,	p.	28)	is	to	(re)turn	to	the	innate	human	desire	and	ability	to	know	through	silences	and	to	listen	to	what	is	echoing	within.	I	resonate	with	Parini’s	(2008)	definition	of	the	sublime:	“noble	and	grand,	generous	and	affecting	.	.	.	which	continues	to	aspire	over	time	across	culture	and	languages”	(p.	7).	In	this	context,	I	refer	to	poetry	as	the	pedagogy	of	the	sublime	in	its	potential	to	open	these	silent	wings.	I	am	called	to	ask	how	to	listen	to	others	breathing	inspired	by	Aoki’s	(1990/2005)	plea	to	a	curriculum	language	that	resounds	in	the	body	hearkening	to	the	very	musicality	of	a	pedagogy	hearing	echoes	of	one’s	soul	calling	where	teaching	is	whirling	setting	the	soul	spinning	in	learning	wearing	the	colours	of	Spirit	a	poetic	phenomenological	pledge	full	of	promise	and	possibility	in	pedagogy,	in	pluralism	176		And	in	poetry,	where	Hafiz63	writes:	An	awake	heart	is	like	a	sky	that	pours	light			and	where	I	write:	of	encountering	And	opening	silent	wings	on	the		inside.		 Moore	(2005)	asks	of	the	rich	array	of	experiences	that	can	nourish	spirit	in	a	teaching	space:	How	can	we	have	students	take	that	step	into	eternity?	And	in	the	multiplicity	of	ways	in	which	spirit	may	be	manifest,	that	is,	through	experiences	with/in	the	natural	world,	stillness,	silence,	deep	reflection,	aesthetic	connection,	I	am	motivated	by	the	motion	of	poetry	and	how	it	kneels	(in	Rumi’s	way),	kisses	and	takes	that	step	into	eternity.	Kates	(2010)	writes	that	to	embrace	soul	in	education	is	to	allow	for	students	to	cross	a	transformational	threshold	in	the	human	journey	towards	recognizing	the	truth	and	the	interconnectedness	of	our	humanness.	In	entering	the	thresholds	of	a	pedagogical	encounter,	I	ask:	What	is	eternity	in	teaching?	It	is	to	create	a	moment	that	endures,	that	is	generative,	that	gives	and	that	lifts	us	into	a	fuller	space	of	becoming	learning.	To	be	lifted	is	to	be	with	hope	and	as	Moore	(2005)	states,	the	soul	is	only	through	in/sight.	To	teach	aesthetically	and	poetically	and	lyrically	is	to	offer	the	soul	what	it	needs	in	beauty	and	in																																																									63	Hafiz,	n.d.,	par.	1.	177		pleasure	and	in	learning	that	becomes,	then,	a	deeper	sense	of	knowing.	In	this	space,	I	am	learning,	is	empowerment.	Yes,	I	know,	now	and	yes,	I	can	do,	now.			 As	I	reflect	upon	what	lies	between	the	student	and	me,	in	this	horizontal	exchange,	what	is	in	the	in-between?	I	refer	to	the	third	thing	that	exists	between	us	as	the	“thing”	that	bridges	us,	the	soul	in-between	that	touches,	inspires	and	rises	together	in	the	Aokian	moment	of	knowing.	I	see	a	light	that	shines	in	a	moment	that	is	only	really	a	moment	in	the	life	of	a	person,	but	yet	has	potential	for	flight.	In	the	spirit	of	contemplative	pedagogy,	I	claim	that	to	stir	the	soul	is	to	stir	the	intellect.	These	are	not	separate	entities,	but	nourish	each	other	into	heightened	ways	of	seeing	the	world	before	us	and	in	us.	To	actualize	spirit	is	to	shift	consciousness	where	both	cognitive	and	emotional	responses	are	stimulated	to	a	place	where	teaching	transcends	itself	and,	then,	leaves	its	resonances	beyond	the	classroom.	I	remember.	The	potential	of	seeing	spirituality	in	education	is	to	embrace	the	notion	of	a	journeying	in/through/out	where	there	is	an	evocation	and	validation,	a	questioning	and	an	answering,	where	learning	meanders	to	eventually	a	coming	home.	In	(re)calling	to	the	soul	of	learning,	there	is	no	wrong	then,	only	a	moving	towards.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 I	am	always	moving	towards.				 Mills	writes	that	“we	do	not	just	reflect	on	something,	we	merge	with	the	object	of	contemplation”	(Mills,	2010,	p.	17).	Thus,	contemplative	activity	can	be	transformative	in	learning	that	reveals	itself	through	us	and	then	becomes	bone	deep.	178		And	on	a	night	flight,	I/eye	imaginally	see	words	as	falling	pearls,	luminescent	in	the	dark	sky	like	fire	flies.	How	they	merge	with	the	crest	of	the	waves	riding	the	syncopated	rhythm	of	a	tide	coming	home	with	hope	and	conviction.	In	poetry	I	become	the	ocean,	rippling	lines	of	love	and	devotion.		Night	Flight	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	The	plane	pushes	Into	the	nebulous	night		Soaring	over	the	placid	Pacific	Ocean	Moving	with	conviction	To	the	promise	of	the	known	And	the	unknown	Between	earth	and	sky	Between	dark	and	light	The	humming	of	the	engine		I	feel	in	the	center	of	my	chest	This	is	the	closest	to	heaven	I	have	felt	In	a	long	while	Sublime	And		I	begin	to	write	poetry	As	the	steady	breathing	of	others	Sleeping	surround	My	own	sense	of	being	In	this	space	where	dreams	inhabit	The	milky	white	residue	Of	promise	And	I	imagine	my	words	One	by		One		by	One		Dropping	into	the	ocean	Below	179		Foaming	into	the	frothy	crest	of	the	waves	Lingering	there	for	a	moment	before	Riding	the	rhythm	of	the	tide	Onto	the	shores		Of	my	mind—		One	more	small	pearl	of	knowing		Into	this	great	illimitable		Abyss	 		 There	are	certain	texts	that	lead	to	experiencing	an	aesthetic	reading,	a	moment	to	moment	keenness	of	being	in	a	poem	that	is	burned	through	our	own	life	journey,	a	hermeneutic	whirling	of	giving	and	taking.	In	this	ebb	and	flow,	there	is	movement,	a	silent	communion	with	text	shaping	us	as	we	are	shaping	the	text,	moving	forwards	with	meaning	and	motivation.	I	ask:	How	can	we	set	the	soul	spinning	in	learning?	The	potential	of	poetry	in	pedagogy	is	held	in	its	common	essential	human	value	of	contemplation	as	an	act	that	we	all	desire	and	need,	to	be	and	breathe	in	Bachelard’s	(1969)	“intimate	immensity.”	I	also	propose	that	in	contemplation	comes	a	spiritual	strengthening,	a	literacy	that	affords	a	certain	seeing	and	being	in-understanding	of	some	aspect	of	the	world,	moving	beyond	the	mundane.		How	do	we	teach	one	to	read,	to	notice	the	presence	of	the	Sacred	in	our	daily	lives?		How	do	we	slow	down	to	see?	How	do	we	think	imaginally?	How	do	we	sharpen	our	perceptions?	And	I	see	a	leaf	falling	from	the	tree	I	see	the	petals	reaching	up	to	the	teal	sky…	180			 In	these	texts	that	can	lead	to	aesthetic	contemplation,	the	capaciousness	and	musicality	of	experiencing	poets,	such	as	Rumi,	are	ripe	to	commune	with	the	capacity	of	language,	life,	and	light.	I	do	understand	that	not	all	students	will	have	these	heightened	experiences,	but	I	believe	my	role	as	a	teacher	is	to	create	the	spaces	and	places	where	one	may	enter	and	encounter	mystery.	To	understand	poetry	as	a	pluralistic	endeavour	is	to	acknowledge	the	diversity	of	meanings	a	poem	may	hold	for	an	individual;	this	reading	transaction	being	one	that	is	formed	by	our	“gender,	ethnic	and	social	background	and	cultural	environment”	(Rosenblatt,	1978,	p.	viii).	In	Rosenblatt’s	reader	response	theories	that	have	informed	my	English	teaching,	we	evoke	poetry	through	our	very	being(s).	Engaging	in	the	dialogic	of	self	and	text	becomes	a	process	that	is	revelatory—evoking	meaning	out	of	mystery	in	words	that	are	somehow	unfamiliar	and,	then,	become	familiar.		In	my	teaching	practice,	I	do	bring	“adult”	poetry	to	students	of	all	ages	where	I	don’t	underestimate	their	own	level	of	understanding	but	allow	them	to	journey	through	the	walls	of	poetry,	making	meaning	as	they	will.	I	resonate	with	Koch	(1990)	who	states	that	children’s	capacity	to	engage	and	experience	adult	poetry	should	not	be	underestimated	and	they	should	not	be	limited	to	“sweetness”	themes.	I	hope	poems	will	bridge	new	interpretations	as	they	grow	as	readers,	writers,	and	individuals.	For	me,	poetry	holds	memories	and	pedagogical	moments	that	can	instil	life-long	connections.	As	I	bring	in	poetry	from	diverse	times	and	places	and	cultures,	from	Emily	Dickinson	to	Louise	181		Erdrich	to	Li	Bai	to	Mary	Oliver,	my	own	affinity	and	passion	for	mystical	poetry	inspires	my	teaching.			 	 	 	 	 	 Teacher	does	what	teacher	is.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 And	Rumi	saved	Me.		However,	I	don’t	particularly	view	this	as	a	bias	or	as	a	possible	hindrance	to	teacher	expectations	but,	rather,	a	positive	force	providing	impetus	for	lively	authentic	inquiry	in	the	classroom.	As	Koch	(1990)	understands,	teachers	of	language	bring	in	works	that	they	like	the	most	and	infuse	this	excitement	and	energy	in	the	text.	My	own	life	journey	brought	me	to	Rumi	as	I	refer	to	him	as	a	“discovery	poet.”	Rumi	invites	readers	to	discover	the	power	of	language	to	foster	a	way	for	living	through	interconnectedness,	love	for	humanity	and	the	natural	world.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 He	is	the	one	who	Sees.		The	silent	communion	that	I	have	experienced	while	reading	Rumi	informs	my	pedagogical	practices	in	promoting	aesthetic	teaching	where	there	are	certain	conditions	in	which	to	allow	this	flow	between	reader	and	text	to	permeate.	Moreover,	there	is	an	understanding	of	a	process(ing),	of	a	journeying	in	and	through,	as	readers	become	“energetic	and	imaginative	performers	of	text”	(Leggo,	1997,	p.	37).	Learning	environments	and	spaces	should	be	created	which	allow	for	full	and	slow	engagement	with	poetic	inquiry	that	includes	reflection,	contemplation,	communion	and	conversation,	fuelling	the	transaction	between	reader	and	text.		 	 	 In	the	heart	of	poetry	lies	the	soul	of	human	language.		182		As	pluralism	is	a	strength,	poetry	can	speak	out	about	Other	ways	of	seeing	and	being	in	the	world.	These	“Other”	ways	have	a	rich	capacity	for	not	only	self-transformation	but	for	creating	inclusiveness,	understandings,	and	appreciation	of	what	our	differences	have	to	offer	to	our	lives	as	a	people.	This	becomes	so	much	more	than	tolerance.	We	are	a	plurality	of	minds	striving	to	each	live	authentically	and	freely.	How	do	we	learn	the	beauty	of	difference?	As	poets	speak	freely	and	their	language	becomes	this	freedom	of	expression,	how	do	we	inspire	students	to	make	“themselves	vulnerable,	to	put	their	emotional	and	intellectual	thumbprint	on	their	work	for	all	to	see”	(Bintz	&	Henning-Shannon,	2005,	p.	35)			 	 	 	 	 	 And	there	is	beauty	to	be	seen.		Rumi’s	own	spiritual	connection	to	his	teacher,	Shams	of	Tabriz,	was	the	passion	fuelling	his	70,000	verses	and	if	we	are	to	offer	our	selves	and	honour	our	students	while	being	in	the	pursuit	of	learning,	the	potential	may	be	boundless.	Ultimately,	the	beauty	of	the	aesthetic	approach	is	to	see	the	spirit	and	soul	having	a	place	in	education	towards	teaching	as	a	pathway	to	knowing	one’s	self.	Teaching	may	then	be	revelatory.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 This	is	ALL	in	Me.	And	there	is	a	space	where	the	inner	and	the	outer	fall	away.	There	is	a	space	where	horizontal	and	vertical	meet	and	I	teach—as	I	write—in	the	cross	of	both	horizontal	and	vertical	intentions	where	knowledge	always	somehow	meets	here	and	then	rises.	Up.	As	I	poetically	play	in	a	found	poem	with	students’	responses	and	poetry	inspired	by	Rumi,	I	have	come	to	know,	that	“Wisdom	can	arise	in	recognizing	[the]	183		mystery”	(Miller,	2010,	p.	17).	 	 	 	 	The	poems	make	me	feel:	Soundless	 spiritual	 soulful		 freedom-filled		with	wonder	a	musical	kind	of	feeling	flowing	around	me	urging		 to		words	lost	in	emotions	there	is	 	 	 	 	 	a	consensus	between	the	poem	and	me	 	 	 	where	nature	listens	quietly	surrounds	where	I	AM	and	the	air	it	smells	so	good	today	64	filled	with	the	dewy	smell	of	rain	running		into	the	cement	like	eggs	on	a	frying	pan	the	chirping	birds	and	woodland	animals	are		playing	charades	scurrying		in		 	 all		 	 different		 	 directions	hiding	from	the	rain		And		I	am	neither	in	this	world	nor	the	next	my	place	is	the	placeless	my	body	belongs	to	nothingness	my	soul	floats	and	wanders	I	am	not	in	the	ground	or	above,	do	not	reside	in	heaven	or	hell	or	any		other	world.		My	town		 	mayorless,		my	gown		 	 	 	 	 groomless.	I	am	neither	wanting	or	needing—			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 																																																										64	This	is	inspired	by	the	Rumi	(n.d.)	poem	“Lord	the	air	smells	good	today”.	See	http://spiritoftrees.org/poetry/lord-the-air-smells-good	184		Rumi	is	someone		 	 	 	 	 	who	believes	in	Love	 	 	 	 	 	 	understanding		the	true	nature		 	 	 	 	of	nature	he	knows	peace	 	 	 	 	 	He	seems	mysterious	 	having	thoughts	that	we	don’t	have	but			 	 	 	 	should.			 And	Maya	Angelou	brought	me	to	Terence	(n.	d.,	par.	1)	who	once	declared,	“I	am	a	human	being;	nothing	human	can	be	alien	to	me.”	In	this	call	to	the	common	cloth	that	weaves	us,	I	reflect	upon	one	of	her	poems	that	I	have	brought	to	my	teaching	on	numerous	occasions:	“Still	I	Rise.”65	Angelou	(1994)	writes:			 I	am	black	ocean,	leaping	and	wide		 Welling	and	swelling	I	bear	in	the	tide		 Bringing	the	gifts	that	my	ancestors	gave		 I	am	the	hope	and	the	dream	of	the	slave.	(p.	163)		In	the	power	of	her	metaphoric	imagery,	she	perceives	herself	like	the	vast	deep	waters	ebbing	and	flowing	to	eventually	this	homecoming.	In	these	potent	lines	is	where	I	see	the	newness	of	poetry,	bringing	a	washing	over	and	over	with	a	power	as	in	the	mighty	ocean	she	speaks	of.	In	the	to	and	fro	of	the	tide	are	the	rhythms	of	her	own	calling	where	the	bearing	she	speaks	of	shows	the	inner	strength	of	her																																																									65	I	particularly	love	this	video	clip	of	Angelou	reciting	“Still	I	Rise”	and	this	has	been	a	powerful	teaching	resource	in	capturing	the	spirit	of	the	poet	and	her	poetry:	https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqOqo50LSZ0	185		own	being.	And	then:	I	have	the	ocean	of	understanding	in	ME.	In	the	flow	and	resiliency	of	nature,	she	truly	can	see	her	own	power.	In	the	gifts	of	this	homecoming	in/with	the	tide,	there	is	always	hope	and	a	desire	to	dream.	Nature	is	a	reflection.	What	is	most	poignant	to	me	is	that	there	is	renewal	and	newness	here,	a	washing	over.	In	her	vulnerable	and	vibrating	imagery,	I	have	understood	the	humanness	of	this	experience,	and	how	it	somehow	transcends	the	context	of	slavery	and	becomes	one	where	“in	the	resonance	we	hear	the	poem,	in	the	reverberation	we	speak	it,	it	is	our	own…as	if	the	poets	being	were	our	own	being”	(Bachelard,	1964,	p.	xxii).		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 I	have	been	so	beaten	down.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 But,	I	can	rise	too.			 In	her	own	rising,	in	the	emphatic	lines,	“I	rise,	I	rise,	I	rise”	(1994,	p.	163),	I	see	“rising”	as	a	poetic	process	itself.	Poetry	elevates	us	to	a	place	where	we	can	contemplate	the	communal	condition	of	expressing	the	vulnerable	state	of	human	experience.	In	this	place	is	a	vulnerability	and	a	resiliency.	To	experience	“rising”	as	an	emotion	that	poetic	encountering	can	bring	forth	is	where	there	is	a	synergy	between	words	and	reader.	I	affirm	the	Perennial	Philosophy	(Huxley,	1945),	a	metaphysic	that	recognizes	one	divine	reality	that	unifies	us	all	and	in	this	underlying	unity	in	the	in-between	of	us,	a	place	where	our	diversity	converges	in	the	soul	of	being	human.		 	 	 	 	 		 In	the	pedagogy	of	poetry,	there	is	the	capacity	for	imparting	a	literacy	of	living	in/with	text	that	speaks	of	our	own	individual	and	communal	calling(s)	to	the	world.	186		And	I	recall	this	student	who	once	shared	with	me:	“This	poem	gives	a	sense	of	inspiration	whenever	I	read	over	its	lines,	almost	as	if	the	poetry	is	awakening	me	into	a	bitter,	yet	bright	and	hopeful	world	and	perhaps	it	is	a	mind	full	of	hope	that	makes	one	rise.”		 	 	 	 And	I	think,	these	are	those	silent	wings	on	the	inside.		 I	ruminate	now	on	one	poignant	pedagogical	encounter.	I	was	teaching	essay	writing	and	was	referring	to	the	stars	and	the	constellations.	I	asked	my	young	student	to	envision	the	“big	dipper”	and	let	us	start	to	trace	the	stars.	I	wanted	her	to	bring	forth	this	visual	as	a	springboard	for	a	lesson	I	was	teaching	on	making	vital	connections	in	writing	and	how	we	can	bring	ideas	together.	I	was	hoping	she	would	resonate	with	image.		But,	she	then	said	to	me,	“I	don’t	know	what	the	big	dipper	is,	I	never	look	up.”	I	asked	her,	why	not?	She	continued	on	to	say,	“Most	of	us	don’t,	really.	I	am	sure	many	of	us	will	not	know	the	constellations	at	all.	We	are	just	too	busy	for	that.”	In	the	silence	that	ensued	after	our	conversation,	what	occurred	for	me	was	a	deeper	understanding	of	the	predicament,	condition,	and	way	of	being	of	our	students	living	in	the	digital	world.	I	posed	a	question	that	has	continued	to	guide	my	teacher	inquiry	and	practice:	How	do	we	teach	students	to	text	to	the	soul?	To	create	and	activate	what	Hart	(2004)	refers	to	as	an	inner	technology?	How	can	we	impart	a	way	of	living	that	allows	for	full	engagement	with	the	natural	world	and	in	finding	our	place	within	it?	In	turn,	offering	spaces	that	can	be	giving	in	meaning,	in	contentment,	in	connecting	to	moments	that	we	look	up	to	the	vastness	of	our	lives.	187		By	doing	this,	we	can	access	the	full	potential	of	the	human	experience	that	thrives	in/with	mystery,	imagination,	and	wonder.		Looking	up	to	look	in.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 And	I	grew	up		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Looking	up		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Anar,	let’s	go	see	the	moon		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 It	is	so	full	and	luminous,		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Dad	would	say			 	 	 	 	 		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 In	poetry	now	I	am	feeling			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 the	luminous	moon	in	me.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 		 And	I	want	to	emphasize	that	spirituality	can	be	living	with	and	without	God.	I	resonate	with	Tacey	(2004)	who	states	that	the	life	of	the	spirit	as	being	existential	rather	than	creedal	and	emanating	from	each	human	being.	As	Pelias	(2006)	eloquently	writes:	“Living	without	God,	however,	didn’t	mean	living	without	the	spiritual.	I	found	the	spiritual	in	the	natural	world,	in	art,	in	interaction	with	others…in	the	natural	world,	I	found	such	intricacy	that	I	was	stunned	into	wonder”	(p.	26).	I	profoundly	resonate	with	the	notion	of	being	“stunned	into	wonder”	and	to	open	spaces	in	pedagogy	for	these	sublime	places	to	“wander	for	wonder”	(Leggo,	2003,	p.	12),	lost	in	the	awe	of	wonder	itself.	In	this	wonder	imparts	a	sense	of	renewal,	a	washing	over.	Morrison	(2009)	writes	about	certain	poetry	as	providing	an	experience	called	the	“divine	heightened”	(p.	89).	I	interpret	this	experience	of	transcending	self	in	the	silence	of	a	soul’s	learning	to	listen	to	its	own	capacity	to	seek	a	kind	of	truth.	In	turn,	that	expands	and	lifts	our	human	consciousness	to	the	full	breadth	of	not	only	an	understanding,	but	to	be	feeling	the	presence	of	some	thing	else.	This,	to	me,	is	intimacy.	In	this	feeling	of	a	feeling,	what	is	it	that	does	wash	188		over	us?	Grace?	Beauty?	Comfort?	Poetry	always	gives.	And	how	do	we	write	critically	about	poetry?	How	does	the	poem	do	what	it	does,	I	often	ask?	And	what	does	IT	do?	Let’s	write	about	that.		 	 		 	 	 	 	 And	now	how	does	this	poet	do	what	she	does?		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 This	IS	my	(re)search.		 Pedagogically	and	personally,	I	know	poetry	as	the	life-blood	of	language.	To	feel	the	warmth	of	poetic	revelation	is	where	aesthetic	space	is	a	place	to	tend	spirit	in	bringing	us	to	the	edge	of	the	existential	questions	where	‘it’	may	never	arrive.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 Poetry	exists	on	the	edges	of	things.	It	is	the	promise	and	beauty	of	the	very	searching	that	keeps	one	moving.		 		 	 	 	 								The	moth	is	held	by	the	flame	giving	of	its	own	light.	In	existentially	expressive	language,	the	material	and	the	spiritual	are	not	separate	entities,	but	nourishing	each	other	in	a	giving	and	receiving	that	not	only	keeps	me	as	poet-in-remembrance,	but	also	reorients,	reintegrates,	and	reclaims	my	light.	This	is	where	poetry	as	entering	the	edges	of	an	experience	brings	me	back	to	the	centre.		 	I	have	reflected,	ruminated,	revisited,	and	relived	my	experiences	with	poetry	in	making	the	claim	that	poetic	expression	and	spiritual	expression	share	the	same	line.	In	doing	so,	I	not	only	provoke	curriculum	but	evoke	its	capacity	in	perhaps	what	I	can	call	a	“hermeneutics	of	humanness,”	where	aesthetic	teaching	approaches	can	promote	our	own	inner	capacity	to	contemplate	and	interpret	learning.	And	I	see	the	whirling	here	too.	My	teacher	inquiry	has	inspired	me	to	perpetually	ask	questions.	I	do	so	in	the	spirit	of	the	poet	Rilke	(1984)	as	I	live	towards	the	answers.		189			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 One	needs	to	ask	to	receive.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 This	is	intention.	In	teaching,	I	follow	Rilke’s	advice	and	in	(re)living	my	own	pedagogical	memories,	I	understand	that	this	(re)living	is	what	I	do	as	an	artist,	researcher,	and	teacher,	where	through	questing—in	this	whirling—I	am	perpetually	heightened	to	my	own	humanity,	(re)turning.	In	this	summit	of	awareness,	which	I	know	as	exercising	my	own	spiritual	literacy	and	in	my	teaching	of	the	English	language,	I	am	finding	the	openings	to	foster	peak	experiences	that	will	endure.	In	this	transcending,	teaching	becomes	so	much	more	than	a	horizontal	transaction	and	opens	to	the	verticality	of	a	human	experiencing.	In	the	teaching	of	poetry	with	a	poetic	I/eye,	I	embark	on	the	poetics	of	my	own	students’	becoming	in	literacy,	in	ways	that	foster	creativity	and	interconnections	with	self	and	others	and	world	while	moving	purposefully	in	and	through	the	frontiers	of	language.	And	as	I	ruminate	on	one	lasting	soulful	encounter,	I	(re)turn	to	my	poem	“Promise”	and	the	last	line	becomes	a	pedagogical	pondering:	What	is	the	role	that	we	will	play	in	each	others’	veritable	becomings?	Mondays	at	4			 		 She	leaves	a	card	for	me.	It	has	been	four	years	that	we	have	spent	together.	Almost	every	Monday	at	4	p.m.,	we	traveled	through	the	English	Language	and	read	and	conversed	and	analyzed	and	wrote	essays	and	narratives	and	paragraphs,	always	striving	to	be	more	creative	and	more	critical	and	more…	190			My	young	student	had	faith	in	me	as	I	journeyed	through	developing	my	own	methodologies	of	teaching	writing	and	we	quested	on	together	through	these	years,	leaning	towards	her	goals	as	I	always	tried	to	inspire	and	aspire.		And	it	was	in	our	mutual	passion	for	poetry	where	we	connected	profoundly,	and	where	I	would	see	the	flickers	of	light	on	her	face.	And	I	would	know	that	some	thing	is	happening.	And	we	would	take	time	to	linger	and	to	rest	and	to	play	with	the	words,	and	eventually	I	might	ask	a	question	such	as:	How	does	the	poet	use	imagery	to	convey	or	strengthen	the	notion	of?…and	so	it	went	and	it	went.		On	our	last	day	together,	she	visited	me	after	her	final	English	provincial	exam.	She	excitedly	exclaimed:			“It	felt	easy	and	I	was	so	prepared,	I	eased	into	it	and	actually	enjoyed	it.	As	I	was	writing	I	thought,	I	have	this!”	I	am	happy	for	her	and	momentarily,	I	know	now	the	goodbye	is	ensuing	as	she	prepares	for	the	next	stages	of	her	life	and	university	and...		After	some	laughter	and	lively	conversation,	I	gift	to	her	an	illustrated	version	of	Attar’s	“The	Conference	of	the	Birds”66	and	we	hug	deeply.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Go	gently,	little	bird.	And	I	want	to	tell	her	how	much	she	has	done	for	me.	What	her	faith	in	me	has	also	allowed	for	me	to	become.	But	I	don’t.																																																										66	Peter	Sis’	(2012)	richly	illustrated	version	of	Persian	poet	Attar’s	(12th	century)	lyrical	and	mystical	tale	of	the	journey	of	birds	who	embark	in	the	search	of	the	Simurgh,	the	King,	and	journey	through	the	seven	valleys	of	questing.			191		And	I	walk	home	later	that	night	slowly	taking	in	the	air.	I	am	tinged	with	sadness,	and	not	having	children	of	my	own,	I	think	this	is	what	it	must	feel	like	to	have	to	let	go.	I	will	remember	You…	And	I	come	in,	turn	on	one	sole	light,	sink	into	the	leather	couch	and	open	the	card.		I	savour	each	and	every	word.	The	words	that	travel	in	my	mind	and	then	to	my	heart	and	help	me	to	see	that,	yes,	I	have	made	a	difference.			I	let	out	one	big	bold	breath	and	sit	for	awhile.	And	I	read	the	card	again	and	I	see	the	words	as	a	found	poem,		swimming	in	my	mind,		breaststrokes	open	and	wide,		waters	moving	and	so	 	 	 		Am			I.		Dear	Sheltered	Self,		 	 	 	 	 (no	more)		I	AM	capable	and	changed	by	moments	of	teaching	something	remarkable	happened	to	me		 	 	 	 	 (I	was	depressed	and	discouraged)		But	stunned	and	then	shocked	by	the	whole	world	of	words		 	 	 	 	 (Is	this	all	possible?)	coming	out	of	my	sheltered	self	 (little	by	little)	loving	all	literature		and	poetry	 	 	 	 (especially)	writing	leading	me	192		into	light	 	 	 	 (You	found	me	alone	in	the	dark)	 	 		 	giving	me	a	second	chance	to	becoming	who	I	am	now	a	wall	of	words	building	strength	over	time	 	embracing	me	 	to	rise			 	and	take	a	hold	of	my	own	destiny	creatively		 	 	 	 	 	changing		Me/You		Did.		The	moon	is	now	high	but	reduced	to	a	comma	and	I	pause	here	to	look	at	it	outside	my	living	room	window.	The	moon	like	a	comma,	like	the	pause	I	take	where	some	thing	does	come	after.	And	it	always	does.193		Point	of	Light:	A	Poetic	Rest			 And	one	day	I	wanted	to	write	nothing	more;		 The	earth,	I	thought,	will	go	on	turning	without	me.		 Nevertheless,	the	poems	are	not	the	author’s	work—		 The	poet	keeps	silent;	the	words	write	themselves.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 (Schoun,	p.	xi,	2002)		 I	embarked	on	this	dissertation	as	a	pilgrim	of	poetry	seeking	to	journey	closer	to	knowing	poetic	discourse	as	a	spiritual	process	and	practice.	In	(re)searching	spiritual	expression,	I	have	been	(re)minded	that	within	the	searching	exists	more	searching	in	a	perpetual	place	of	promise	and	potent	potential.	There	are	always	new	revolving	doorways	of	discovery	awaiting.	And	at	each	point	of	light,	I	have	experienced	more	light.	And	I	have	seen	the	colours	of	this	light	like	the	altering	subtle	hues	of	the	early	morning	sky.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 And	the	sky	is	in	I/Eye.			 In	my	a/r/tography	as	whirling,	I	affirm	I	am	a	soul-in-learning	and	also,	a	soul-in-listening,	and	the	yearning	to	know	and	to	be	known	fuels	my	very	inquiry.	In	enacting	this	a/r/tographic	(re)search	is	where	I	have	resonated	deeply	with	the	notion	of	what	is	becoming.	As	an	Ismaili	Muslim,	the	search	is	integral	to	my	being	in	the	world,	where	the	act	of	inner	searching	is	an	expression	of	my	faith.	Hence,	in	this	work,	searching	and	becoming	are	kindred	concepts	and	on	these	pages	are	my	process	and	my	purpose.	Here	is	where	I	am	most	human.	In	the	dialogic	of	poetry,	I	have	conversed	symbiotically	with	both	spirit	and	source.	The	very	graces	of	knowing	have	bestowed	boundless	rays	of	revelation,	and	in	this	sensuously	194		intimate	process	of	getting	closer	to	the	face	of	poetry,	I	have	felt	the	rhythms	of	my	soul	attuning	to	the	melody	of	my	own	breathing	in/out	with	the	cosmos.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 Poetry	is	in	the	very	flesh	of	Being.		 		 As	Dillard	(1989)	writes,	“The	lines	of	words	speed	past	Jupiter	and	its	cumbrous,	dizzying	orbit…it	will	be	leaving	the	solar	system	soon…rushing	heaven	like	a	soul”	(p.	20).	Onwards,	for	the	lover	who	wants	to	press	her	face	against	the	moon	67/and	paint	the	wisps	of	the	clouds	leaving	soft	lingering	impressions/wanting	to	know	the	stars	shining…		And	I	have	felt	the	grace	of	space.	This	is	writing	that	is	a	baring	boundlessness.	I	(re)mind	the	reader	of	the	(re)search	question	that	sparked	this	path	of	transformation:	What	does	it	mean	to	dwell	poetically?	And	what	has	been	strengthened	in	this	work,	I	ask	now?		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 It	is	ME.	Here,	in	this	dissertation	is	a	contemplative	mind	that	has	engaged	in	both	the	creative	and	the	critical,	each	sphere	mutually	taking	from	each	other	in	an	ebbing	and	flowing	that	becomes	these	waves	of	newness.	This	is	the	space	of	a	heightened	seeing-in.	In	this	praxis	of	actualizing	imagination	and	intuition,	the	guiding	light	of	this	(re)search	endeavouring	has	come	into	being	from	this	in-seeing	but	also	from	in-listening.	In	poetry,	which	I	have	contextualized	as	“the	articulation	of																																																										67	I	return	to	my	poem	“Rhizome	in	the	Sky”	where	I	seek	inspiration	from	Rumi	(n.d.-b):	“At	night,	I	open	the	window/	and	ask	the	moon	to	come/	and	press	its	face	against	mine/	Breathe	into	me	(par.	1).	http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/144073-at-night-i-open-the-window-and-ask-the-moon			195		contemplative	perception”	(Laude,	2004,	p.	11),	both	sensory	modes	culminating	into	the	poetry	and	also	the	experiencing	of	the	poetry,	where	words	lead	to	music	or	spoken	word,	where	words	must	lead	to	listening	too.	Herein	is	both	an	inner	and	an	outer	flow,	of	a	seeing	out	and	seeing	in,	and	listening	out	to	a	listening	in.		And	the	dervish	knows	when	to	turn	And	the	poet	knows	when	each	line	shall	fall	And	the	painter	feels	each	brushstroke	moving	This	listening	is	A	turning	in		 And	for	this	poetess,	I	ponder	lyrically	now:	She	holds	the	mysteries	of	life	in	her	hands	The	pain	she’s	leaving	behind	is	in	His	plans	It	has	felt	like	fire	and	ice	to	her	soul	Every	turning	bringing	blood	back	to	the	whole		 And	in	the	blood	I	refer	to	is	the	heart	that	feels	fully.	I	have	written	that	I	live	at	the	cross	of	both	the	horizontal	and	vertical	intentions,	and	this,	indeed,	is	an	ideal	state	for	me	where	I	can	strive	to	achieve	material-spiritual	balance	in	my	life.	Poetry	brings	me	to	a	state	of	balance,	a	wholeness	that	is	a	full	circling	into	understandings.	In	these	understandings	that	this	work	has	documented	and	speaks	of	is	what	I	refer	to	as	an	essencing,	coming	to	the	essence	of	the	experiencing	as	I	have	fully	relinquished	to	the	processes	of	my	experiential	learning-in-learning.	In	my	keen	state	of	dwelling	lyrically,	I	have	sought	to	bring	out	the	essence	of	the	196		experience,	and	moreover,	of	what	or	whom	I	write	of.	Father,	mother,	sisters,	Karim,	grandfather	and	Aunty	Yasmine	…	 	Poignantly,	in	the	analogy	of	the	moth	entering	the	flame	what	remains	is	the	“moth-essence”	(Dillard,	1977),	and	as	my	poetry	conveys	the	very	bones	of	a	perceptive	episode	that	then	becomes	crystallized,	the	essence	of	whom	I	write	remains,	and	those	essences	bring	back	what	may	have	been	lost	and	what	is	no	longer,	here.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Poetry	Remains.		 In	the	prowess	of	imaginative	power	is	the	chance	to	believe	that	one	can	hope	for	finding	not	only	understanding,	but	love	again.	And	in	the	stilling	of	the	moments	is	the	hope	that	the	reader	will	also	find	anew.	In	the	personal	process	of	the	artist	who	is	in	the	fluid	flow	of	the	moment	of	creating,	flows	out	to	the	other	who	enters	the	lines	that	are	like	rippling	waters	of	understanding.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 And	my	reflecting	is	now	yours.		In	the	outcome	of	this	work,	I	have	seen	myself	seeing	others.	“It	is	by	imagination	that	we	cross	over	differences	between	ourselves	and	other	beings,	and	thus	learn	compassion,	forbearance,	mercy,	forgiveness,	sympathy,	and	love−the	virtues	without	which	either	we	nor	the	world	can	live”	(Berry	as	cited	by	Hayes,	Sameshima	&	Watson,	2015,	p.	43).	And	artists	must	bring	beauty	to	this	burning	world.		 	 	And	the	world	is	burning,	And	I	will	keep	turning,	Allahu	And	the	world	is	burning,	197		My	soul	keeps	turning,	Allahu	Please	let	me	see	only	the	beauty.	I	want	to	be	the	I/eye	that	sees.		 And	I	ask	the	eager	question:	Where	does	this	questing	end?	In	the	endless	beauty	of	the	pursuit	is	where	I	affirm	that	the	grace	is	found,	and	at	every	point	of	light,	I	have	felt	both	a	weeping	and	a	wondering.	I	have	experienced	poems	as	my	contemplative	pedagogy	and	sole/soul	purpose.	And	I	have	seen	a	single	leaf	falling	to	the	earth	And	three	birds	communing	on	a	weathered	log	And	words	like	pearls	dropping	in	the	ocean	from	above	And	raindrops	gracing	the	green	And…		 	 In	this	work,	that	is,	in	fact,	a	wanting,	I	conceptualized	the	rhizome	(Deleuze	&	Guattari,	1987)	and	its	lines	of	flight	deepening	in	the	earth	as	points	of	light	that	I	placed	heavenward	in	the	open	seeking	sky.	I	journey	onwards	now	as	a	steward	of	poetry	documenting	moments	and	memories	in	my	life.	Perhaps,	each	of	my	poems	is	like	the	luminous	stars	in	the	night	sky.	Here,	the	points	of	light	are	points	of	life.	As	I	(re)trace	the	lines	that	connect	each	of	these	poems,	I	see	the	rhizome	that	crosses	through	my	very	being.			 	 And	it	is	the	trust	in	this	(re)search	process	that	has	connected	these	points	of	light	and	moved	me	through.	In	this	dissertation	that	became	an	extended	meditation,	the	expansive	sky	represents	a	vertical	worldview	that	has	height,	vision	198		and	infinite	possibility.	As	in	a	cartographer,	I	have	mapped	my	own	passage	through	this	space,	moving	with	intuition,	reflection	and	conviction.	In	turn,	this	scholarship	is	faith	in	human	potential	and	possibility	where	I	have	formed	my	own	patterns	of	knowing—intricate	and	intertwined	it	is—where	strength	comes	from	the	sheer	doing	of	the	work,	of	being	in	deep	engagement,	where	each	point	gives,	generates	and	validates	in	itself	(Richardson,	2000).	In	enacting	my	poetic	I/eye,	I	have	come	to	experience	generativity	or	what	I	have	called	(re)generativity,	that	is,	some	thing	that	continues	to	resonate	and	be	a	source	of	renewal	which	validates	in	the	sheer	act	of	being	what	it	is	and	holding	strong	evocative	power	in	a	deepening	of	human	understandings.		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 		 	 	 	 	 And	what	was	not	there	before,	now	here	it	is.			 Thus,	in	forming	my	own	pattern	of	knowing,	as	conceptualized	as	the	rhizome	in	the	sky,	there	is	both	a	moving	through	and	a	settling	deeply,	there	is	movement	and	a	pausing.	This	pausing	involving	reflexive	and	reflective	thought,	where	each	point	of	light	is	both	a	marker	of	new	knowledge	and	also	a	platform	on	which	to	jump	off	to	that	next	point,	wherever	that	may	be.	As	in	the	stars	that	hold	infinite	light	and	provide	navigation,	I	have	journeyed	through	this	writing	with	a	keen	and	heightened	attending	to	what	each	point	is	giving	to	me	and	to	the	(re)search.	What	I	have	encountered	is	that	there	is	always	a	space	that	opens	before	me,	another	line	of	inquiry	that	I	move	with	and	move	alongside	with.	As	in	my	early	morning	meditation	practice,	this	is	a	symbiotic	and	synergistic	process	of	a	letting	in	and	a	letting	go,	in	one	single	elongated	breath.	And	my	mind	has	travelled	through	space	opening	up	to	more	space,	illuminating	a	terrain,	a	199		cartographic	and	a/r/tobiographic	path,	where	customary	modes	of	perception	open	to	the	spheres	of	imagination	and	faith.		 	 	 	 	 		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Now,	this	is	seeing.		 With	each	point	of	light,	a	pinnacle	of	feeling	and	with	each	point,	full	of	emotion	and	motion,	that	is,	a	reflecting	and	a	refracting,	this	crisscrossing.	Like	my	poem,	“In	the	Keenness	of	Seeing,”	that	opened	my	prologue,	where	the	rain	traces	its	own	patterns	of	understanding	on	the	keen	green	veins	of	the	leaf,	this	writing	is	a	network	of	my	life	lines,	of	poetic	lines	that	descend,	ascend	and	transcend.	I	have	(re)shaped	my	own	conception	of	the	world,	by	projecting	inwards	and	outwards,	of	this	shedding	and	throwing	light	up	and	on.	In	this	pattern	of	(re)search	where	there	is	a	lighting	of	the	path,	I	resonate	with	Richardson	(2000)	who	proposes	the	crystal	as	a	central	imaginary	for	postmodern	research	texts	symbolizing	the	many	ways	to	see	the	world.	In	crystallization	as	oppose	to	triangulation—of	three	fixed	points—	there	is	no	single	truth,	there	are	“an	infinite	variety	of	shapes,	substances,	transmutations,	multidimensionalities”	(Richardson,	2000,	p.	934).	I	stress	herein	that	these	points	of	light	that	I	documented,	are	ones	that	are	not	traditionally	fixed	or	rigid,	they	each	have	their	own	shape	and	pattern	of	being,	substance,	tone,	hue,	colour,	shape	and	“angles	of	approach”	(Richardson,	2000,	p.	934).	Thus,	the	integrity	of	the	traditional	underground	rhizomatic	root	system	is	that	it	is	messy,	intertwined	and	entangled	but	holds	strong,	nurturing	and	nourishing	the	tree.			 Barone	and	Eisner	(2012)	write	of	arts-based	research	as	having	“legs,”	this	ability	to	move	and	be	moved	to	someplace	else,	as	the	capacity	of	creative	scholarship	is	that	“it	does	not	simply	reside	in	its	own	backyard	forever	but	rather	200		possesses	the	capacity	to	invite	you	into	an	experience”	(p.	152).	In	this	celestial	and	creative	vision	that	I	have	proposed	is	one	in	which	I	am	metaphorically	standing	in	my	own	yard,	looking	up	to	the	night	sky	and	imaginatively	travelling	through	the	terrains	of	space	and	time	with	the	hope	of	reaching	outwards	to	others	who	may	journey	with/in	this	work	too.	This	strengthens	my	understanding	of	a	rhizome,	always	in	relation.			 Thus,	in	the	assessment	of	this	thesis,	as	in	Richardson’s	(2000)	crystal	that	casts	light	in	different	directions,	I	hope	that	there	are	many	points	of	entry	and	as	well,	points	of	departure	or	flight.	In	this	light	theory,	it	is	the	intention	of	this	work	to	illuminate	what	it	means	to	be	human,	as	I	have	dwelled	in	a	most	intimate,	sensuous	and	poetic	aesthetic	encountering.	I	would	like	this	(re)search	to	be	assessed	on	its	ability	to	evoke	others’	into	feeling,	into	seeing	and	into	learning.	I	(re)turn	to	Cole	(2004)	in	that	“research,	like	art,	could	be	accessible,	evocative,	empathetic,	provocative”	and	(re)generative	in	that,	like	the	crystal,	there	is	always	more	to	see,	depending	on	how	and	where	the	light	comes	in.	And	thus,	as	in	the	uniqueness	of	my	own	poetic	stories,	what	holds	is	the	commonality	of	my	humanness.	As	each	point	of	light	or	discovery	is	lifted	off	the	page	with	a	poem	or	lyrics,	“when	illumination	is	combined	within	a	vivid	experience,	the	work	will	serve	to	illuminate	cognitively	and	respond	emotionally”	(Barone	&	Eisner,	2012,	p.	154),	and	I	add	here	now:	spiritually.	In	the	art	that	forms	my	own	inquiry,	the	art	should	stand	in	and	for	itself,	(re)presenting	scholarship	that	has	wings	as	in	a	sentimental	sweet	love	song	that	is	listened	to	over	and	over	again.			 	 And,	now,	I	visualize	this	search	in	a	poetic	pause,	a	purposeful	caesura,	a	201		place	of	reflective	respite.	In	the	in-between	now,	I	ruminate	on	the	profundity	of	this	moment	of	resting	in	(re)search,	a	necessary	space	to	feel	the	warmth	of	the	light	of	knowing	as	both	a	giving	and	a	gifting	(Lea,	2014).		And	in	the	sky	of	inquiry	I	let	my	face	feel	the	sun	of	understandings.		I	close	by	eyes,		I	look	UP.		Stay	here	a	moment,	Stay	HERE.			 This	is	a	place	of	vertical	grace	where	I	listen	to	the	reverberations	of	the	searching	in	echoes	that	speak	softly	in	sublime	silences.			 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 I	know,	I	know,	I	know		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 Now.	I	have	encountered	the	poetic,	personal,	pedagogical,	and	philosophical,	rising	and	colliding.	I	began	this	dissertation	with	exploring	my	woundings,	and	I	weaved	through	my	woundings	(Denton,	2006)	with	writing.	And	I	have	come	to	experience	and	re(turn)	to	the	sheer	“plentitude	of	being”	(Esmail,	1998,	p.	72).			 And	I	have	weaved	in-out	and	out-in			 	 	 	 on	the	page	threading	words		 	 	 	 	 	 	 	treading	emotions.		 This	page,	as	Dillard	(1989)	writes,	is	a	“purity	of	possibilities”	(p.	59).	Poetry	has	allowed	me	to	pass	through	the	sadness	to	a	sacred	place	where	I	can	once	again	hear	my	own	“astonished	emotions	living”	(Rilke,	1984,	p.	83),	to	know	the	very	202		poetics	of	a	place	of	being.	And	there	is	poetry	in	every	place.	In	turn,	I	have	come	to	the	graciousness	of	words	as	musical,	vertical,	descending,	ascending	and	transcending	in	luminous	lyrical	light.	Poetry,	as	a	heightened	state	of	being	in	elevated	form,	is	all	embracing,	all	encompassing,	all	envisioning:	“And	poetry.	It’s	this	and	[it	is]	that”	(Belliveau,	2014,	p.	142).	My	desire	for	aesthetic	contemplation	and	communion	has	led	me	to	the	spiritual	knowing	that	I	(re)affirm	in	Rumi’s	own	epiphany.	I	(re)turn	once	more:	“My	soul	is	from	elsewhere,	I’m	sure	of	that,	and	I	intend	to	end	up	there”	(Barks,	1997,	p.	2).	Here,	there	must	be	only	beauty.	In	the	lines	of	poetry,	I	will	faithfully	and	fatefully	follow	that	path:	Lightwards.		And	I	will	open	my	eyes	wide	towards	the	light	for	this,	is	the	most	merciful	place	I/eye	know.	203		Figure	1	Luminous	Sky		Returning	from	the	Okanagan	on	a	summer	afternoon,	I	witness	this	luminous	sky.	I	capture	this	image	through	the	windshield	while	the	colours	keep	changing	moment	by	moment.	This	is	presence	profound.	As	I	marvel	at	the	altering	hues,	we	are	driving	into	the	horizon,	steady	and	paced,	moving	with	the	landscape.	Wheels	are	turning.	There	is	movement	everywhere.	And	while	riding	on	this	highway	of	light,	I	will	just	keep	looking	UP.				204		Epilogue:	You	Will	Ask	Me		And:		You	will	ask	me	What	this	(re)search	is	And	I	will	tell	you	That	I	have	Evoked	desire	In	a	longing	for	lines	Caressing	the	inner	strings	Of	my	soul	attuning	To	its	own	melody	in	the	Symphony	of	theophany	Remembering	and	(re)turning	To	kneel	and	kiss	the	ground	Stepping	into	eternity		While	spinning	Through	a/r/tography	Vertically	to	music	moving		The	celestial	sky	In	poetry	and	in	prayer	Sharing	the	same	line	Of	flight	Every	point	of	light	Transcending	transcendence	Echoing	echoes	in	the	Aokian	way	of	pedagogy	Lifting	the	grace	of	other	Souls	in	waiting	in	learning	205		My	whirling—	Spiritual	and	material	Beauty	and	blood	Baring	boundlessness	Vibrating	vulnerability	Turning	to	face	Poetry	a	longing	Lamenting	of	separation	Seeking	a	song	singing	Of	wings	silently	Singed	with	the	burning	Of	a	yearning	Praying	For	the	light		 In	my	heart		 	 In	my	hands		 	 	 In	my	eyes		 	 	 	 In	my	breath		 	 	 	 	 In	my	mind		 	 	 	 	 	 In	my	flesh	In	these	words	Wanting	 	 	 	 	 	 		Lyrical	light		Upon	light	Upon	light	Upon	light—		You	will	ask	me	what	this	(re)search	is?	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