"Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark. 
In effect, the people who change our lives the most begin to 
sing to us while we are still in darkness. If we listen to 
their song, we will see the dawning of a new part of ourselves."

Rabindranth Tagore

Existential Intelligence is the sensitivity and capacity to engage questions about human existence – how we got here, whether we have a purpose, and whether there is meaning in Life. Existential intelligence embraces the exploration of aesthetics, philosophy, religion and values like beauty, truth, and goodness. A strong existential intelligence allows human beings to see their place in the big picture, be it in the classroom, community, world, or universe.

First proposed by Howard Gardner, existential intelligence is one of nine theorized intelligences and is considered to be amoral – that is, it and the other eight categories of human intelligence can be used either constructively or destructively.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. In honor of the month, I would like to share one of my recent favorites with you. This poem is by Naomi Shihab Nye, and was recently published in the Shambala Sun - a great magazine that always includes a poem, with brief commentary, at the end of the issue.

When they say don’t I know you?
say no.

When they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like
before answering.

Someone telling you in a loud voice
they once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
Then reply.

If they say We should get together
say why?
It’s not that you don’t love them anymore.

You’re trying to remember something
too important to forget.

Trees. The monastery bell at twilight.

Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished.

When someone recognizes you in a grocery store
nod briefly and become a cabbage.

When someone you haven’t seen in ten years
appears at the door,
don’t start singing him all your new songs.
You will never catch up.

Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know you could tumble any second.
Then decide what to do with your time.


  1. True words for our times, hopes & dreams.

  2. Oh...oh yes. Only since I passed 50 has my mortality made any impression on me at all. Although I gave lip service to the notion of 'be here now' when I was younger, today I relish the moments I glimpse how precious my time is. Thank you for this poetic reminder of the fleeting days we are graced with.

  3. This touches a special place in me. Thank you.

  4. This poem made me sad. My husband passed away suddenly in February, and I have met angels in so many people who knew him and who I didn't know. Not everyone brings good tidings of comfort and joy but there are surprises in people that can be missed.