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What to Remember When Waking: David Whyte


What to Remember When Waking

In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake,
coming back to this life from the other
more secret, moveable and frighteningly honest world
where everything began,
there is a small opening into the new day
which closes the moment you begin your plans.

What you can plan is too small for you to live.
What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough
for the vitality hidden in your sleep.

To be human is to become visible
while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others.
To remember the other world in this world
is to live in your true inheritance.

You are not a troubled guest on this earth,
you are not an accident amidst other accidents
you were invited from another and greater night
than the one from which you have just emerged.

Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window
toward the mountain presence of everything that can be
what urgency calls you to your one love?
What shape waits in the seed of you
to grow and spread its branches
against a future sky?

Is it waiting in the fertile sea?
In the trees beyond the house?
In the life you can imagine for yourself?
In the open and lovely white page on the waiting desk?

David Whyte © 1999 Many Rivers Press

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Fran Scoble permalink
    02/05/2010 3:13 pm

    David Whyte is awesome. I’ve heard him speak several times. He does workshops about work, life and the soul. Here’s a quote: “It is impossible, in the overscheduled workplace (life), to avoid the unexpected encounter with sorrow and heartbreak.” His book, “The Heart Aroused” is brilliant and saved my life in 1997. He begins with Dante’s opening lines from “The Divine Comedy”–“In the middle of the road of my life, I awoke in a dark wood where the true way was wholly lost.” It’s quite a book. XO

  2. 02/05/2010 3:56 pm

    I remember your moment with The Heart Aroused….Philip Nix gave me a CD of one of his talks…starts with a bit about Moses’ shoes…awesome.

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