Sometimes: Poet and Philosopher David Whyte’s Stunning Meditation on Walking into the Questions of Our Becoming

An invitation into the transcendent disquietude of those stirrings “that can unmake a life or make,” “that have no right to disappear.”

By Maria Popova

Those disquieting, transformative stirrings are what the poet and philosopher David Whyte checks out with surefooted subtlety in his poem “Sometimes,” found in his completely life-enlarging collection Everything Is Waiting for You (town library) and checked out here by the poet himself as part of a wonderful brief course of poem-driven practices for neuroscientist and thinker Sam Harriss Waking Up meditation toolkit (which I cant suggest enough and which operates under an influenced, respectable design of granting totally free memberships to those who require this important psychological health aid however do not have the means).

SOMETIMESby David Whyte
Sometimesif you move carefullythrough the forest, breathinglike the onesin the old stories, who might crossa sparkling bed of leaveswithout a noise, you pertain to a placewhose just taskis to difficulty youwith tinybut frightening requests, developed out of nowherebut in this placebeginning to lead everywhere.Requests to stop whatyou are doing today, andto stop what youare becomingwhile you do it, questionsthat can makeor unmakea life, questionsthat have patientlywaited for you, questionsthat have no rightto go away.

Complement with Whyte on anger, forgiveness, and what maturity actually implies, challenge as the ground for self-expansion, and his lovely letter to kids about checking out as a website to self-discovery, then revisit other fantastic poets bringing their own versed knowledge to life: Marie Howe reading “Singularity,” Marissa Davis reading her own “Singularity” in action to Howes, Jane Hirshfield checking out “Today, Another Universe,” Ross Gay reading “Ode to Buttoning and Unbuttoning My Shirt,” Marilyn Nelson checking out “The Childrens Moon,” and previous U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith checking out from “My God, Its Full of Stars.”

The role of the artist, James Baldwin thought, is “to make you understand the doom and magnificence of understanding who you are and what you are.” This, too, is the function of the forest, it strikes me as I stroll the ferned, mossed woods daily to lose my self and find myself in between the trees; to “live the questions,” in Rilkes beautiful phrase– to let the rustling of the leaves beckon forth the stirrings and murmurings on the edge of the mind, which we so often brush away in order to go on being the smaller variation of ourselves we have actually grown accustomed to being out of the unfaced fear that the splendour of life, the grandeur of our own untrammeled nature, may need of us more than we are all set to provide.