Sonnet 116

For the last forty three years, I’ve had the gift of living with my best friend and love. It only seems like yesterday in a small adobe building in Lincoln, New Mexico, with a small group of friends standing in a circle, celebrating our unity. Happy anniversary to my love.

“Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark.
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

~ William Shakespeare, 1609

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Gratitude

“Gratitude is not a passive response to something given to us, gratitude is being awake in the presence of everything that lives within and without us. Gratitude is not something that is shown after the event, it is the deep, a priori state of attention that shows we understand and are equal to the gifted nature of life. Gratitude is the understanding that many millions of things come together and live together and mesh together and breathe together in order for us to take even one more breath of air, that the underlying gift of life and incarnation as a living, participating human being is privilege, that we are part of something, rather than nothing. Even if that something is temporarily pain or despair, we inhabit a living world, with real faces, real voices, laughter, the color blue, the green of the fields, the freshness of a cold wind, or the tawny hue of a winter landscape. To see the full miraculous essentiality of the color blue is to be grateful with no necessity for a word of thanks. To see fully, the beauty of a daughter’s face is to be fully grateful without having to seek a God to thank him. To sit among friends and strangers, hearing many voices, strange opinions; to intuit inner lives beneath surface lives, to inhabit many worlds at once in this world, to be a someone amongst all other someones, and therefore to make a conversation without saying a word, is to deepen our sense of presence and therefore our natural sense of thankfulness that everything happens both with us and without us, that we are participants and witness all at once. Thankfulness finds its full measure in generosity of presence, both through participation and witness. We sit at the table part of every other person’s world while making our own world without will or effort, this is what is extraordinary and gifted, this is the essence of gratefulness, seeing to the heart of privilege. Thanksgiving happens when our sense of presence meets all other presences. Being unappreciative means we are simply not paying attention.”

~ David Whyte – November Thoughts 2013

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To go on . . .

“…It must be
under all the struggle
we want to go on.

It must be,
that deep down,
we are creatures
getting ready
for when we are needed.

It must be that waiting
for the listening ear
or the appreciative word,
for the right
woman or the right man
or the right moment
just to ourselves,

we are getting ready
just to be ready

and nothing else.

Like this moment
just before the guests arrive
working
alone in the kitchen
sensing a deep
down symmetry
in every blessed thing.

The way
that everything
unbeknownst
to us
is preparing
to meet us too.

Just on the other
side of the door
someone
is about to knock
and our life
is just
about to change

and finally
after all these
years rehearsing,
behind
the curtain,

we might
just be
ready
to go on.”

David Whyte –from ‘Waiting to Go On’: in ‘River Flow: New and Selected Poems

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Children

“Do you have agendas for your children that are more important than the children themselves? Lost in the shuffle of uniforms, practices, games, recitals, and performances can be the creative and joyful soul of your child. Watch and listen carefully. Do they have time to daydream? From their dreams will emerge the practices and activities that will make self-discipline as natural as breathing.” ~ William Martin, The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents

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