the first thing… David Whyte

 

David Whyte - descent to troutbeck

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My Comment:

How easily do we miss this very first step, this step of ‘no step’ – of stepping back and turning around to meet ourself. How quickly does our mind – that is the accumulation of memories of the past – Velcro on to the ‘need to please’ and the urge to be acknowledged and accepted by those we perceive as being ‘others’?

This is David Whyte’s meditation on that first step, which is the last step:

START CLOSE IN

Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step
you don’t want to take.

Start with
the ground
you know,
the pale ground
beneath your feet,
your own
way to begin
the conversation.

Start with your own
question,
give up on other
people’s questions,
don’t let them
smother something
simple.

To hear
another’s voice,
follow
your own voice,
wait until
that voice

becomes an
intimate
private ear
that can
really listen
to another.

Start right now
take a small step
you can call your own
don’t follow
someone else’s
heroics, be humble
and focused,
start close in,
don’t mistake
that other
for your own.

Start close in,
don’t take
the second step
or the third,
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step
you don’t want to take.

START CLOSE IN
River Flow
New & Selected Poems
Many Rivers Press © David Whyte

Photo © David Whyte July 2011
The Descent to Troutbeck. Cumbria

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