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Monday, April 27, 2009

David Whyte's "The True Love"

Note: A friend sent me this just this morning and I knew I had to share it here with you. This is for Shane Margaret and Jon Mark who will be ordained to the Transitional Diaconate on June 6th, and for Martha, who seeks and searches and prays like the old man in the Hebrides.

Poet David Whyte was invited to speak at a conference led by the Sisters of Mercy in Galveston, Texas. All he was told was the conference theme was the biblical passage where Jesus comes to the disciples walking on the water and calls them to step out of the boat. This poem is what he wrote in response. When reading publicly he explains that the one who calls us out of our boats can be a person, a new life, or even some deep part of ourselves.

The True Love

There is a faith in loving fiercely the one who is rightfully yours, especially if you have waited years and especially if part of you never believed you could deserve this loved and beckoning hand held out to you this way.

I am thinking of faith now and the testaments of loneliness and what we feel we are worthy of in this world.

Years ago in the Hebrides I remember an old man who walked every morning on the grey stones to the shore of baying seals,

who would press his hat to his chest in the blustering salt wind and say his prayer to the turbulent Jesus hidden in the water,

and I think of the story of the storm and everyone waking and seeing the distant yet familiar figure far across the water calling to them,

and how we are all preparing for that abrupt waking, and that calling, and that moment we have to say yes, except it will not come so grandly, so Biblically, but more subtly and intimately in the face of the one you know you have to love,

so that when we finally step out of the boat toward them, we find everything holds us, and everything confirms our courage, and if you wanted to drown you could, but you don’t

because finally after all this struggle and all these years, you don’t want to anymore, you’ve simply had enough of drowning, and you want to live and you want to love and you will walk across any territory and any darkness, however fluid and however dangerous, to the take the one hand you know belongs in yours.

- David Whythe


Jon M. Richardson said...


Paul said...

Some dear friends chose to have this read at their wedding. I got to read it. It is so beautiful and so powerful. Mind you, my ex and I had just split three months earlier. I was a mess at rehearsal but got through the wedding just fine. It always moves me deeply. (And my ex and I remain best friends with a love that endures even if we don't belong under the same roof.)

Thanks for posting it here.

barbarab said...

Thank you!

Tree House Treats said...

I loved love love David Whyte's telling of this story & poem and have listened to it a 100 times for solace and re-alignment's sake. Thanks for posting

Lucy W said...

FYI...You spelled his last name wrong at the end...