Harsh need

February 15, 2006

What would the world do without poets? What would I do without David Whyte? Why am I so enthralled with his words?

I continue to put energy into trying to belong to this “intentional community” of 78 women and I come with my self bared and soul exposed.

I am viewed by this group as mysterious and hidden.

Is it because I live in a rich inner world and have lost my capacity to be in an outer world that doesn’t see me?

And the more I reveal – the more mysterious I am…

And in my head – I hear David saying I want to know if you belong or feel abandoned? And I belong deeply – but not to this group.

And then he asks – 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.

And yes David – I can… and I am…

Can you see them gathering the wood and building the pyre? Can you smell the smoke? See the flames? Hear the crack of resin as it explodes? Taste the fear?

Excerpts from Self Portrait by David Whyte


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