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I adore david whyte. love his words, the pictures he paints, the feelings he holds up to the light. the only thing I love more than his poetry, is listening to him read his own work. entrancing.

this poem has been going through my head a great deal lately, and as I was driving back from a yoga workshop in McCall across this landscape, it rang loud and clear. I wanted to share this. hope it touches you the way it has me.

 

the winter of listening

“no one but me by the fire,

my hands burning

red in the palms while

the night wind carries

everything away outside.

 

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.

 

what we have

in ourselves

is what we cannot know

in ourselves but

what is true to the pattern

does not need

to be explained.

 

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.”  

david whyte

 

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