Sunday, December 17, 2006

All that passes from the state of heaviness to the state of subtletly passes through the moment of fire and light.

--Paul Valery, French Poet

dan's 2cents: A student I tutored long ago was released from prison into a program house. It is run by a very capable and caring team who know incarceration inside out. The student is very bright and we both agree that a program called Project Rebound is an excellent place to let his light shine.

He has started and stopped the application process many times, usually because he's back in jail. I am involved in the current sign-up process. I don't know if it will happen this time, though he seems more determined (Third time's a charm, he says.)

How does a person leave the state of heaviness--the American Penal System, addiction, or other problems of which I'm not aware? How does a person reach the state of subtlety which Higher Education, Recovery programs and Mental Health treatment seem to promise?

The French Poet says it is necessary to be transformed, consumed by "the moment of fire and light." How does that passion translate into human terms? I don't think "self-improvement" is enough. The deepest emotional centers of the brain must be engaged in this transformation--something a consumer culture cannot inspire.

What can inspire change? Religion...if it venerates all things. Therapy...if it generates awareness. Poetry...the best of religion and therapy, the Imagination.