Ploughing on. LO22697

John Paul Fullerton (
Sat, 18 Sep 1999 12:16:30 -0500

Replying to LO22658 --

Amidst transition in farming communities, my feet encounter long stretches
of country road. It is unpaved for the most part, dust, gravel, passing by
places that make a road useful. Farmers and their families and hired
workers can be seen throughout the properties, not very numerous, often
quite alone, it may seem, traversing pastures, cornfields, harvesting
grain, or, in other seasons, making investments in planting.

No one works at lunchtime. Of course I exaggerate. Anything is possible.
Yet I've seen only one man working at lunchtime today. His field is
golden, surrounded by blue of sky, green of bordering trees. His tractor
is, I see, not his own. How does one know that it is not the farmer who
owns the land? Do I see the farmer in the house? As I said, I see one man
working and am thinking of him. His lips move, and then I see, more slowly
than speech, in song. I think to enter the field. Who is he, what's his
name, could I get a drink of ice water? Now, that's a thought!

Stepping from the road all the scene becomes fractillated bits, all
blue-green, and afraid of walking in an unknown environment, I step back
to the road. The worker is still singing. He knows things that I could
write about. He knows differently than I what it is to spend a day amidst
these farming communities. And he's singing. Hmm. What do I have to sing
about? Oh yeah. And I start to hum.

Could I change my dusty work (walk) shoes for wing-tips, and a momentarily
empty road for corridors, offices, cubicles, planning sessions, and the
luxury of making learning my business, I'd wonder how not-partaking is at
all to be recommended to partaking of the thoughts of the worker seen
today. Hard calculation says one can't know the thought of another, and
that, when that thought is expressed, what one may know from the
expression still has limits. I may KNOW about "working at lunchtime" and
not know the song or what the worker was thinking while singing. "Thank
you that there's ice water at the end of the next row." I don't think that
was it! Gentle observation says honor the other fellow and don't stir up
would-be poets :)

My comment being made, I should say that it was pleasant to read about
Piers Plowman (though I was not writing about him).

Have a nice day
John Paul Fullerton


"John Paul Fullerton" <>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>