THE LIGHTEST TOUCH
Good poetry begins with
the lightest touch,
a breeze arriving from nowhere,
a whispered healing arrival,
a word in your ear,
a settling into things,
then, like a hand in the dark,
it arrests the whole body,
steeling you for revelation.
In the silence that follows
a great line,
you can feel Lazarus,
even the laziest, most deathly afraid
part of you,
lift up his hands and walk toward the light. David Whyte,
- from EVERYTHING IS WAITING FOR YOU and RIVER FLOW
Everything is waiting for you, for us. The completed book, the house, the relationship, the revelation, the peace of mind – the idea, is there. Here. For you. Even when the world seems to be revealing the opposite, and our heart may be breaking. Of course what shows up may not be what we expected or wanted.
Work with that. Write from there.
A fundamental truth (for us writers) is always here for each of us at every moment: to find that place where the internal landscape and narrative of our lives meets with the outer world experiences– this is the writer’s frontier. You don't ever leave it.
What works, for me, is to stay in the conversation. When writing on a particular subject and theme – I listen and notice how these come up in my every-day life. This is how my writing practice has become part of my spiritual practice. Everything becomes material for me to work with (on and off the page).
We have to rely on others, to ask for help, to give into the vulnerability of not knowing. We can choose to listen to and engage the uncertainty. We will have to open our eyes even wider to consider what we might do, where we might go. Listen to the internal conversation as much as to the outer experience. Like the advice I've given in sweat lodges -- keep your eyes open; there's much to see in the dark.
Stay in the conversation.
Never leave home without your field notebook.
Work with this.
My view? That the very health and beauty of this world relies on us to do so.
if you move carefully
through the forest, breathing
like the ones
in the old stories, who could cross
a shimmering bed of leaves
without a sound, you come to a place
whose only taskis to trouble you
but frightening requests, conceived out of nowhere
but in this place
beginning to lead everywhere.
Requests to stop what
you are doing right now,
andto stop what you
while you do it, questions
that can make
a life, questions
that have patiently
waited for you, questions
that have no right
to go away..- David Whyte, from EVERYTHING IS WAITING FOR YOU and RIVER FLOW
JOIN ME AND OTHER WRITERS for a a FREE WRITERS’ RETREAT: MONDAY August 19th from 10 am till 4:00. Email me for location (near Barneveld) and for other details. firstname.lastname@example.org
(For those who are wondering if I got my novel done - YUP! Now for some serious revision before I send it out to an agent.)