Posts Tagged ‘David Whyte’

What to Remember When Leaving

May 21, 2010

This is my last day in Mexico after a glorious week. I’m trying not to project myself forward into plans and worries and mail and catch up, but to be here savoring every moment left. The advice of David Whyte in his poem “What to Remember When Waking” applies to a dream like this week has been. I have loved this poem for a long time, and am grateful to be reminded of it now. This is just a portion:

In that first
hardly noticed
to which you wake,
coming back
to this life
from the other
more secret,
and frighteningly
where everything
there is a small
into the new day
which closes
the moment
you begin
your plans.

What you can plan
is too small
for you to live.

What you can live
will make plans
for the vitality
hidden in your sleep.

To be human
is to become visible
while carrying
what is hidden
as a gift to others.

To remember
the other world
in this world
is to live in your
true inheritance.

-David Whyte


February 27, 2010

Last night I read something that has shaken me all the way down to my deepest root. It is two lines out of a poem by David Whyte:

Give up all other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Is that what we all search for, “the world to which we belong?” But what does that mean? Do I belong here in North Carolina? Do I belong to family and friends? I think I am taking the question too literally, but since I read it I feel my bones shaking because I don’t know the answer to the question, “to what world do I belong?” There are simple answers – earth, family, self, vocation – but none of those feel true enough. I don’t think I can say another word about this at the moment. I am really shaken by it. It feels like a very big question, maybe too big for me.