“Shyness is the hallway of presence, the doorway to new and deeper desires, the first necessary step in the maturation of an unexpected life and arises from the sudden, often unwanted and difficult grounding that undergirds our experience of awe.

Shyness is the sense of a great unknown, suddenly about to be known, and suddenly become immensely personal, addressing us as if we might know what to say, where to put ourselves, or in the case of romance, what to wear.

To feel shy is to look five ways at once: to the beckoning new life in front of us, to the line of retreat behind us, to alternative possibilities of escape to left and right, and in really difficult circumstances, the hope for a complete and sudden disappearance. Shyness is the first necessary crossroads on the path of becoming.

Shyness is underestimated and neglected as a way of being when first approaching the new, the necessary and the overwhelming. Without shyness, our over-confidence precludes us from the appropriate confusion, awkwardness and helplessness that accompanies the first stage of revelation.

Without shyness we cannot shape an identity ripe for revelation. Our visual media, especially television, tells us that shyness is unnecessary and thus corrupts our sense of what constitutes a real exploration. Likewise, in our virtual travels we rarely meet many beautiful representations of shyness through social media, but physical shyness tells us through our very vulnerability, that we are at last in the presence of the mystery, of some thing, some place, or some one we deeply desire or that represents what we desire, though we do not as yet, in our essential physical helplessness, know how to bring it about.

Shyness is the exquisite and vulnerable frontier between what we think is possible and what we think we deserve.

Without shyness it is not possible to fully apprehend the new. Total confidence at the beginning of a new phase of life means we are misinformed, that we are deeply mistaken, that we think we know what is about to occur and who we are about to become. Shyness is an invitation to a particular form of beauty, to qualities that are meant to be both practiced and cultivated; shyness is our friend; the annunciation that we are just about to walk through the door and through all our difficulties, attempt another beginning.”

David Whyte From CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words


Reflecting on Life

“Take time to stop today
Take time to stop a while
Reflect on how life changes
Then take the time to smile

Know that as the days go by
These things that challenge you
Will one day just be memories
Of times you have gone through

Look back now on yesterday
And all you have achieved
Recognize the strengths you’ve gained
The blessings you’ve received

One day in the future
You will think about today
You’ll see just how these challenges
Have helped you on your way”

~ Michelle Tetley



“We stop at the dry cleaners and the grocery store
and the gas station and the green market and
Hurry up honey, I say, hurry hurry,
as she runs along two or three steps behind me
her blue jacket unzipped and her socks rolled down.
Where do I want her to hurry to? To her grave?
To mine? Where one day she might stand all grown?
Today, when all the errands are finally done, I say to her,
Honey I’m sorry I keep saying Hurry—
you walk ahead of me. You be the mother.
And, Hurry up, she says, over her shoulder, looking
back at me, laughing. Hurry up now darling, she says,
hurry, hurry, taking the house keys from my hands.”

~ Marie Howe from “The Kingdom of Ordinary Time”




“This morning
two birds
fell down the side of the maple tree

like a tuft of fire
a wheel of fire
a love knot

out of control as they plunged through the air
pressed against each other
and I thought

how I meant to live a quiet life
how I meant to live a life of mildness and meditation
tapping the careful words against each other

and I thought –
as though I were suddenly spinning, like a bar of silver
as though I had shaken my arms and lo! they were wings –

of the Buddha
when he rose from his green garden
when he rose in his powerful ivory body

when he turned to the long dusty road without end
when he covered his hair with ribbons and the petals of flowers
when he opened his hands to the world.”

~ Mary Oliver

Big Buddha Hands

American Sonnet

“We do not speak like Petrarch or wear a hat like Spenser and it is not fourteen lines like furrows in a small, carefully plowed field

but the picture postcard, a poem on vacation, that forces us to sing our songs in little rooms or pour our sentiments into measuring cups.

We write on the back of a waterfall or lake, adding to the view a caption as conventional as an Elizabethan woman’s heliocentric eyes.

We locate an adjective for the weather.
We announce that we are having a wonderful time.
We express the wish that you were here

and hide the wish that we were where you are, walking back from the mailbox, your head lowered as you read and turn the thin message in your hands.

A slice of this place, a length of white beach, a piazza or carved spires of a cathedral will pierce the familiar place where you remain,

and you will toss on the table this reversible display: a few square inches of where we have strayed and a compression of what we feel.”

~ Billy Collins

American sonnet