The Winter of Listening by David Whyte

THE WINTER OF LISTENING

No one but me by the fire,
my hands burning

red in the palms while
the night wind carries
everything away outside.

All this petty worry
while the great cloak
of the sky grows dark
and intense
round every living thing.

All this trying
to know
who we are
and all this
wanting to know
exactly
what we must do.

What is precious
inside us does not
care to be known
by the mind
in ways that diminish
its presence.

What we strive for
in perfection
is not what turns us
into the lit angel
we desire.

What disturbs
and then nourishes
has everything
we need.

What we hate
in ourselves
is what we cannot know
in ourselves but
what is true to the pattern
does not need

to be explained.

Inside everyone
is a great shout of joy
waiting to be born.

Excerpt from ‘The Winter of Listening’
From RIVER FLOW: New and Selected Poems
Many Rivers Press. © David Whyte

 

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