On Being David Whyte

It is quite possible that I could ponder over the words of David Whyte for the rest of my life. I've listened and studied his conversations with Krista Tippett during her "On Being" podcast (stream at the end of the page). No, I haven't read his books for I literally can't decide which to choose first. I've had a tab open to a list of his works on Amazon for at least two weeks. I respectfully acknowledge my fear that reading his books may become my existence. Not that I would hate that at all but there are bills to pay and things to do...etc. And so, here are some words to contemplate from that [insert appropriate adjective here, for I can't find one elegant or provocative enough] conversation:

 

If you are visible, you can be seen. 

If you can be seen, you can be touched. 

If you can be touched, you can be heard.

 

The question is, will you turn up? We don’t want to have the conversation...We don’t want to play the game of life and face the frontier. We've developed elaborate ways of looking as IF we are showing up but not showing up. And yet, half of all human experiences is mediated through loss and disappearance. To be invulnerable is a delusion. So will you become a full citizen of vulnerability, loss, and disappearance, which you have no choice about?

 

ALERTNESS IS THE HIDDEN DISCIPLINE OF FAMILIARITY. 

 

It is a delusion that you can occupy a position of responsibility without being vulnerable. Vulnerability is not a weakness. Vulnerability is not a choice. To run from vulnerability is to run from the essence of our nature. The attempt to be invulnerable is the vain attempt to become something that we are not. In refusing our vulnerability is to refuse the help needed at every turn of our existence and immobilize the essential title and conversational foundations of our identity.

 

ALERTNESS IS THE HIDDEN DISCIPLINE OF FAMILIARITY. 

 

To have a temporary isolated sense of power over all events and circumstances is a lovely, illusionary privilege and perhaps the prime and most beautifully constructed conceit of being human, and especially of being youthfully human but it is a privilege that must be surrendered… 

ALERTNESS IS THE HIDDEN DISCIPLINE OF FAMILIARITY. 

 

Adelaide Taylor

Woodward Avenue Southeast, Atlanta, GA, 30312