this is where I stand…

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 have heard, in that fierce embrace, even
the gods speak of God.

Quote: David Whyte, Fire in the Earth

Simply Lent 11…

The Well of Grief

Those who will not slip beneath
the still surface on the well of grief,
turning down through its black water
to the place we cannot breathe,
will never know the source from which we drink,
the secret water, cold and clear,
nor find in the darkness glimmering,
the small round coins,
thrown by those who wished for something else.

a friend who carries my story died this morning. Sudden, unexpected he is gone. I carry him into this quiet night, grateful for all we shared and sad for what is no more.

Poem: The Well of Grief in David Whyte: Essentials
Image: Evening on the Isis @David Whyte, Oxford May 2015



To Be Alone


To be alone for any length of time is to shed an outer skin.
The body is inhabited in a different way when we are alone than when we are with others.

Alone, we live in our bodies as a question rather than a statement.


Quote: David Whyte, Consolations
Photo: David Whyte’s description — “Looking towards Bee Holme from Ransoms, Low Wray campsite (West shore of Windermere in autumn mist)”

to live alone…


It happens to those
who live alone
that they feel sure
of visitors
when no one else
is there.

until the one day
and the one
working in the
quiet garden,

when they realize
at once,
that all along
they have been
an invitation
to everything
and every kind
of trouble

and that life
happens by
to those who

like the bees
the tall mallow
on their legs of gold,
or the wasps
going from
door to door
in the tall forest
of the daisies.

I have my freedom
because nothing
really happened

and nobody came
to see me,
only the slow
growing of the garden
in the summer heat

and the silence
of that
unborn life
making itself
known at my desk,

my hands
with the crumbling
as I write
and watch

the first lines
of a new poem
like flowers
of scarlet fire
coming to fullness
in a clear light.


In The House of Belonging
Many Rivers Press. © David Whyte

Sunday Summer Morning
Photo © David Whyte
May 30th 2016

Advent II – Courage

the Visitation — Henry Ossawa Tanner


“Courage is the measure of our heartfelt participation with life, with another, with a community, a work; a future. To be courageous is not necessarily to go anywhere or do anything except to make conscious those things we already feel deeply and then to live through the unending vulnerabilities of those consequences. To be courageous is to seat our feelings deeply in the body and in the world: to live up to and into the necessities of relationships that often already exist, with things we find we already care deeply about: with a person, a future, a possibility in society, or with an unknown that begs us on and always has begged us on.”

In this second week of Advent, we read of announcements, dreams and visitations. A child of God is to bear God’s child. Mary hurried to her cousin, Elizabeth, who was also with child. Both women were living into their motherhood. Each with a role in bringing God’s kingdom to the world. 

Mary sought the comfort and strength of Elizabeth’s home. In that place, in presence of Elizabeth’s faith and wisdom, she knew she could share that which she felt deeply. She knew she could exclaim how magnificent this child would be. Mary knew Elizabeth would understand the courage it had taken for her to say “yes”.

In the mean time, angels are visiting Joseph in dreams to instill courage in him to take his betrothed and move ahead. A charge he would accept knowing all would face consequences.

The word for this second week of Advent is Courage.

Quote: David Whyte (Brain Pickings by Maria Popova)

%d bloggers like this: