The Wisdom of David Whyte

A few years ago I attended a weekend-long poetry workshop with David Whyte.  I was taken with his emphasis on the transformational power of hearing, simply listening to powerful words spoken out loud.  Just hearing David speak his words out loud stirred something deep in me. 

A sampling ….

“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.”

“The dynamic of friendship is almost always underestimated as a constant force in human life.”

“But no matter the medicinal virtues of being a true friend or sustaining a long close relationship with another, the ultimate touchstone of friendship is not improvement, neither of the other nor of the self, the ultimate touchstone is witness, the privilege of having been seen by someone and the equal privilege of being granted the sight of the essence of another, to have walked with them and to have believed in them, and sometimes just to have accompanied them for however brief a span, on a journey impossible to accomplish alone.”

“A real conversation always contains an invitation. You are inviting another person to reveal herself or himself to you, to tell you who they are or what they want.”

 “It doesn’t interest me if there is one God or many gods. I want to know if you belong or feel abandoned. If you know despair or can see it in others.”

“A sure sign of a soul-based workplace is excitement, enthusiasm, real passion; not manufactured passion, but real involvement. And there’s very little fear.”

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