Thanks for posting this Philip. The poem is beautiful and inspired me to explore some of the other David Whyte clips. I watched the series of interviews about his thoughts on the artist Jerry Wennstrom – they are wonderful and had me reaching for the tissues! I find David Whyte’s insights incredibly moving; they have such a truth and wisdom about them – at least for me, particularly at this point in my life. He really does seem to understand that in the process of shedding we are not diminishing or shrinking in any way (although the pain of loss might have us feeling that we are) but are in fact becoming more ourselves, opening out to contain more of the world. I love his notion of seeking to build ‘companionship with disappearance’, in otherwords recognising our place in the greater cycle of loss and re-emergence, trusting it and embracing it – that we are ‘creatures married to the great unknown’ and that at the heart of the uncertainty lies our true belonging. His thoughts on how this process impacts on an individual’s creativity I found really inspiring.
In the interviews, he mentions at one point that when we feel ‘besieged by existence’ it is because we are not living from our innocence, not seeing the world with the wonder and engagement that would allow us to feel just what an intimate part of it we are (‘alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity’). This relates so much to what I have learned and am continuing to learn from my own spiritual seeking.
Thank you so much for introducing David Whyte to me. Reading his poetry and listening to his words makes me want to shout ‘Yes!’ – there is nothing quite like that wonderful feeling when something really resonates!