I can hardly believe it was already more than two years ago that a small group of us Canadian west coasters had just finished up the OER17 conference in London and were heading to Edinburgh to meet up with a few colleague-friends. We used a brief break in our travels to wander around parts of the city. Along the River Thames I came across a poet-for-hire and commissioned a poem on the topic of being open. I shared this poem in an earlier blog post “I can feel it kicking.”

Well, it’s still kicking. I came across a poet-for-hire today at a farmers market close to home, and commissioned another poem on the same topic: open.

Poet Zaynab Mohammed

Sometimes we try to describe “open” in academic language but somewhere along the way it seems to elude our grasp. The concept, rich, deep and complex, keeps slipping away as we try to chase it down. Sometimes it beckons, and other times it advises care.

In the science fiction movie Contact, scientist Dr. Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster) tries to describe a mind-boggling celestial event. She finally gives up and says, instead, “They should have sent a poet.”

There must be something about a thoughtfully considered concept of “open” that invites a creative flow of energy and breaks through the clutter, as this new poem is as captivating as the previous one. One part, to me, speaks especially to our efforts as a community to better understand the seemingly inexhaustible meaning of open:

so as curious observers / we learn depth / when we braid our parts / open to the streams

So here it is:

And here’s what it sounds like…

Maybe we need a few more poets.