What Moves Me

I wrote this about six weeks ago.  I decided I would get back to it, rework it, etc.  But I realized when I reread it just now, that I could write about this again, and it would come out as a totally different piece.  So maybe from time to time I’ll write something like this again.  But for now, this is what I wrote on one day….

In my English classes I would read aloud to my students the stories and books that were required reading, while they read along.  I used a variety of voices, and got really into these books; at intervals we would stop and discuss what was happening, and I would try to get them to discern the deeper meaning of the story or play.

Every once in a while (often at the same places in a particular book) I would become so moved by what I was reading that I would get choked up and teary.  The actress part of me would put all I had into the reading, and the listener part would become overwhelmed at what I heard.  This happened even with books or stories I’d read for many years, to many classes.  Every time, year after year.  I would ask a student to take over reading for a page or so.

The same thing happens when I am reading alone – books on philosophy, quantum physics, art, novels.   Just this morning I was re-reading a book I have read several times, and felt my heart swell with an overpowering sense of…what?  I stopped my reading and thought, “What is it that so moves me?”  Because it isn’t just books, or movies, but things I observe, or look back on in my own life.

A student interrupted me once when this happened; he wanted to know what I was feeling as I read a particular passage, and why.  I said, “I’m moved by this because it is Truth.  Not the truth, as in, ‘It’s not a lie,’ but the Truth with a capital ‘T’ – the thing we all strive to know, or understand, or perceive about life.  Those larger truths of the universe move me.”

I am moved by unselfishness demonstrated in rare and sometimes courageous ways; by beauty that would be denigrated by trying to describe it; by kindness to others, especially those who think they do not deserve it; by the plight of those creatures who are completely helpless in the face of man’s greed and unconsciousness – like polar bears.  I am moved by Canada geese migrating in formation; by the wonder of a huge flock of birds flying in an ebb and flow, creating light and dark.  A child’s  wonder and curiosity moves me.   When I teach someone something, and the light bulb goes on, I am moved and overjoyed.  In fact, even as I wrote that, I had a flash of one of many such “light bulb” experiences, and the small swell of joy filled my heart.

So I think what moves me, if I look at it in a larger context, is connecting with moments of deep inclusion, connection with the glory, the pain, and the hopeful possibilities that living on Earth provides.  I am moved by Life, and when that happens, my heart opens, and I am connected to all things.

Look out at things – there is wonder and beauty, darkness and grace, joy and confusion, hope and anticipation in each moment.   En-joy the day.  And please, if you are willing to take the time,  I would love to hear what moves you.

P.S.  One year, when I got to a point where I asked a student to take over reading, the class had obviously prepared.  When I said, “Okay, who would like to take over reading?” one student spokesperson said, “Ms. Rubin, do you remember when you said that the way out of things is to go through them?  Well, we’ve decided you should go through this.”  And so I read, with tears and also laughter.  I think my students were incredible people to have done this…

About Davina

I am a retired teacher, writer and artist. This web site was set up for several reasons. First is to give people a chance to see my art work, and decide if there is something they like enough to contact me. Second is to present my ideas on education and life in general - anything that gets my attention. Feel free to comment in an intelligent manner.
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12 Responses to What Moves Me

  1. Mark Rubin says:

    When I see a child discovering something for the first time, I am moved. (Nice piece!)

  2. Jane says:

    Beautifully put, Dina. I love the stillness and quiet of early morning just before dawn breaks.

    • Davina says:

      Yes, I know what you mean. There is a stillness then, a quiet that can’t quite be matched with any other kind of silence, a chance to be alone but still connected to everything.

  3. Jim Gramlich says:

    Your example that you shared from your teaching days with your students…is
    what was the was the significant theme that moved me. Thanks for the insight.
    Per your request, as you have asked for in this BLOG; what moves me everyday?
    To simply put forth an honest, sincere, and disciplined effort to be a better father,
    friend to others, and not to be so judgmental of my fellow man.

  4. Teresa R. says:

    …was your beautiful piece of writing and loving spirit! I remember that, even as a young adult growing up, you were always so beautifully open hearted and quick to laugh.
    You still have that Presence about you–capital P–which seems to indicate you have tapped something deeper in your life and that continues to move me. Very sweet. Thanks for sharing your gifts.
    `o) (that is my tearing up emoticon)

  5. Carrie La Jeunesse says:

    Over the past couple of years, I have had the immense privilege of meeting and working with people from around the world who are dedicated to fighting hunger, poverty and disease in some of the most afflicted, “resource poor” countries on earth.

    In particular, working in Liberia in an effort to rebuild animal care and agriculture opened my eyes to the wonders of resilience, creativity, synergism and persistence…and the ability to experience and share joy in the face of unspeakable trauma.

    As much as the world seems to be in dire straights, the overwhelming power of impassioned individuals working together toward common good is indescribably moving…and humbling…and hope-inspiring.

    Thank you, Davina, for asking.

    • Davina says:

      Oh, dear Carrie, I have been thinking of you, wondering if you will be coming this way any time soon. I think of the work you did with such awe and respect; it’s no wonder you were so moved by what you have seen. What a blessing – to give is to receive.

  6. Marlie Collins says:

    So very lovely Davina. You are a treasure. That was moving. Thank you so much for that sweet reminder to pay attention to our hearts and how much beauty and Grace circles around and within. You set me on course. SML (so much love).

  7. Marlie Collins says:

    P.S. I just read this entry to Ramaia and got so teary I could not read. So what did he do but ask me “what are you feeling?”. I paused and felt. Yes, I believe it is Truth.

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