Excursions with Edward F. Mooney Pt. III

Dean Dettloff

Excursions with Edward F. Mooney

Part III: Whirling, Living, Dancing

This post is part of an ongoing series. Part I.Part II.

 Dean Dettloff:You covered a lot of ground in your previous answer, Ed, anticipating a few other questions I could have followed-up with. Your previous response ended in a reflection highlighting the pin-wheeled nature of your being, that is, while you may have distinguishable parts or facets, all of them blur together in the motion of life itself. This feeds retroactively into your discussion of teaching and intimacy, wherein your commitments to intimacy and its recovery are not put on hold when you enter your “professional” role but instead integrate wholly together as you touch the lives of students through the gifts you have been given. With this in mind and your veteran-status as an educator, what kind of advice would you have for those…

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Is Walking Prayer?

I suppose that this value [in walking], in my case, is equivalent to what others get by churchgoing and prayer. I come home to my solitary woodland walk as the homesick go home. I thus dispose of the superfluous and see things as they are, grand and beautiful. I have told many that I walk every day about half the daylight, but I think they do not believe it. I wish to get the Concord, the Massachusetts, the America, out of my head and be sane a part of every day.
— Thoreau’s Journal, January 7, 1857

Thoreau also avers (in “Walking”) that when we move away from knowledge of facts toward “Sympathy with Intelligence” (toward prayer?)  we become “a child of the mist.” We dream (or see)  well beyond the constraints of school or village philosophy, perhaps with Hamlet (. . . more than is dreamt of in . . . ) — and see yet through a glass darkly: “Live free, child of the mist — and with respect to knowledge we are all children of the mist”  (para 77).