Friday, September 17, 2021

David Whyte and "Belonging"


It doesn't interest me if there is one God or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel abandoned.
If you know despair or can see it in others.
I want to know if you are prepared to live in the world
with its harsh need to change you.
If you can look back with firm eyes
saying "this is where I stand."


I want to know if you know how to melt
into that fierce heat of living
falling toward the center of your longing.
I want to know if you are willing to live,
day by day,
with the consequence of love
and the bitter unwanted passion of sure defeat.
I have been told, in that fierce embrace,
even the gods speak of God.

 

.............from "Fire in the Earth", by David Whyte

 

I increasingly crave refuge from the harshness and distracting speed, speed, speed of modern life, and perhaps most of all, the awful numbing desensitizing of it all, the lack of focus or passion in the midst of nano-second, scroll down life .  

I found my way back to the familiar poetry of visionary David Whyte.  Although the second poem is a winter poem, and it is almost Mabon, the Harvest and advent of beautiful fall, still, I wanted to  absorb it again. 

David Whyte's poetry has always had a way of bringing me home.

 

From "The winter of Listening"

All this petty worry
while the great cloak
of the sky grows dark and
 intense round every living thing.
 
What is precious
inside us does not
care to be known
by the mind
in ways that diminish
its presence.

What we strive for
in perfection
is not what turns us
into the lit angel
we desire,
what disturbs
and then nourishes
has everything
we need.

Inside everyone
is a great shout of joy
waiting to be born.
Even with the summer
so far off
I feel it grown in me
now and ready
to arrive in the world.

All those years listening to those
who had nothing to say.
All those years forgetting
how everything
has its own voice
to make itself heard.

All those years
forgetting how easily
you can belong to everything
simply by listening.

And the slow difficulty
of remembering
how everything is born from
an opposite 
and miraculous
otherness.

Silence and winter
has led me to that
otherness.

So let this winter
of listening
be enough
for the new life
I must call my own.
. . . . . . . . . .
by David Whyte