Sometimes you can only understand yourself through exile, and feeling really far away from yourself and your world. If you look to the poetic tradition, all you’ve got to do is enunciate the exact nature of your exile and that will open up the door to your conversation. There’s no one else in the world who feels exiled as you do. There’s no one else who feels far away from things with exactly the same coloration and tonality that you do. Therefore you must have faith in whatever you’re confronted with. Every human life is quite magnificent and dramatic and mythological because of the intensity of what’s at stake. Once you understand that, and turn your face back towards it — towards your ability to feel exiled, towards the necessary human qualities of losing and being lost — then suddenly you find a place to stand in it all. And you, strangely enough, find yourself emboldened by it… and more courageous.…….David Whyte
when we stand in the great waves of our life, it all becomes something else…….something primal, intensely important, a proud folding in to ride the waves…..a new strength beckons….unexpected because it is soft and tender….we understand that life is to be sweetly celebrated….
I live here in a village house without
all that racket horses and carts stir up,
and you wonder how that could ever be.
Wherever the mind dwells apart is itself
a distant place. Picking chrysanthemums
at my east fence, I see South Mountain
far off: air lovely at dusk, birds in flight
returning home. All this means something,
something absolute: whenever I start
to explain it, I forget words altogether.
Color infusing autumn chrysanthemums,
exquisite, I pick dew-bathe petals,
float them on that forget-your-cares
stuff. Even my passion for living apart
grows distant. I’m alone here, and still
the winejar soon fills cups without me.
Everything at rest, dusk: a bird calls,
returning to its forest home. Chanting,
I settle into my breath. Somehow, on this
east veranda, I’ve found my life again.
…Tao Chien (David Hinton interpreting)
To construct around oneself a cocoon
In which the spirit can grow, blossom
A quiet place, without commotion, upheaval.
Conflict and competition and striving.
Everything at rest, I settle into my breath
And find life again.
Something absolute, life beyond words
It can’t be explained.