Saturday, December 03, 2005

Why David Whyte Rocks...

I went to see David Whyte speak at Benaroya Hall last night with my stepmom, two of her friends, my brother Gavin, and Caleb. Whyte had an Irish guitar & fiddle duo who opened each set of spoken word with the most beautiful Celtic music. If you don't know who David Whyte is, he's a celebrated Welsh/Irish poet who resides on Whidbey Island, WA. My father loved his work, as much of it has to do with reinvention of the self after terrible loss, or observing the dark in one's periphery as part of the nurturing whole, rather than something to be feared.

That's why I like his work too. Not just the subject matter, but the fact that it's just plain beautiful (and often painful) to read.

This comes from his book Everything is Waiting for You, and it speaks directly to my life with Samantha, and my life ahead without her:


At the end
things pass away
into a hard won perspective
The sepia photographs
of childhood
like twilight encounters
with eternity
and the youthful
laughter peeling
across a mountainside.

Standing close together
we make our vows
in front of others
with a backward
kind of courage
that everything
away no matter
how precious
the memory
and that
even in this
we recognize
the flourish
and the firm
signature of love.

Everything we ever
held in our hands
is given to another
or slips like sand
throught the gate
of our fingers
into something
which to begin with
we cannot recognize.
Everything we ever
held in our hands
is given away
in marriage to another
person or another world.

How could we know
the blessings
which illuminated our days?
The joy too strong to feel
until it was
no longer there to disturb us.

We find ourselves
always at last
ennobled by the encounter
the wedding vows
remembered at the end
and cherished now
like a live hand
holding a dead hand
loving everything it must let go.

1 comment:

Jim Jenkins said...

I just want to say how moved I was by your blog entry and how glad I am that you found inspiration in David Whyte's words.

He is a brilliant mind and one of the most stirring and inspirational creative resources on the planet today.

David's words helped me face my own loss when 9-11 happened and I lost a childhood friend. I'm glad he was able to help you and that you found a wonderful way to honor his work!