It is always a treat to see one of the greats in spoken word and discourse on the poetic tradition, David Whyte
talking and reading his poems in person. It was a true blessing and gift to join in the celebration of words in harmony with spirit at a recent Saturday morning in Santa Monica, California at the First Presbyterian Church that found Mr. Whyte touching deeply on one of his favorite topics, igniting the soul of passionate creative expression, this time discussing
William Wordsworth. Whyte talked about the moment in his work that Wordsworth committed fully, heart and soul, to his life’s work and love, Poetry.
“After dancing all night, Wordsworth walked into the morning light somatically alive, casting his eyes on the beauty of day break, once and for all dedicating his life to sharing/writing his poetry free of the burden and besiegement of other’s voices.”
(I love the use of ‘somatically alive’ in reference to the joy that flowers after a night of dancing.)
Mr. Whyte went on to read from this section of the poem referenced that illuminates the moment Wordsworth’s shares through his work…
The morning rose, in memorable pomp,
Glorious as ere I had beheld—in front,
The sea lay laughing at a distance; near,
The solid mountains shone, bright as the clouds,
Grain-tinctured, drenched in empyrean light;
And in the meadows and the lower grounds
Was all the sweetness of a common dawn—
Dews, vapours, and the melody of birds,
And labourers going forth to till the fields.
Ah! need I say, dear Friend! that to the brim
My heart was full; I made no vows, but vows
Were then made for me; bond unknown to me
Was given, that I should be, else sinning greatly,
A dedicated Spirit. On I walked
In thankful blessedness, which yet survives.
Wordsworth found he would always belong to this place, this time and this feeling of his most connected heart, to his purpose in the world and his natural authentic expression, and through this he would always be in celebration of life, his and the world at large, in nature’s fullest projection. Life is pretty wonderful as we allow it all to be. Joy is made manifest through our hearts song and our hands action. BE someone today who listens to the loving action required for our gifts to be shared with the world.
David Whyte has brought these poetic connections to light for me in so many different ways. It is cool to see in Whyte’s own words, this embodiment of being found by the joy that lives in each experience of this life giving source to all that is and how we all come to find that aliveness.
is the meeting place of deep intentionality and self forgetting, the bodily alchemy of what lies inside us in communion with what formally seemed outside, but is now neither, but become a living frontier, a voice speaking between us and the world: dance, laughter, affection, skin touching skin, singing in the car, music in the kitchen, the quiet irreplaceable and companionable presence of a daughter: the sheer intoxicating beauty of the world inhabited as an edge between what we previously thought was us and what we thought was other than us.
Joy can be made by practiced, hard-won achievement as much as by an unlooked for, passing act of grace arriving out of nowhere; joy is a measure of our relationship to death and our living with death, joy is the act of giving ourselves away before we need to or are asked to, joy is practiced generosity. If joy is a deep form of love, it is also the raw engagement with the passing seasonality of existence, the fleeting presence of those we love understood as gift, going in and out of our lives, faces, voices, memory, aromas of the first spring day or a wood-fire in winter, the last breath of a dying parent as they create a rare, raw, beautiful frontier between loving presence and a new and blossoming absence.
To feel a full and untrammeled joy is to have become fully generous; to allow our selves to be joyful is to have walked through the doorway of fear, the dropping away of the anxious worried self felt like a thankful death itself, a disappearance, a giving away, overheard in the laughter of friendship, the vulnerability of happiness felt suddenly as a strength, a solace and a source, the claiming of our place in the living conversation, the sheer privilege of being in the presence of a mountain, a sky or a well loved familiar face – I was here and you were here and together we made a world.
‘JOY’ From CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words
Take some time to give it a read. Take some time to connect to your own passions, take some time to experience the flight of your soul’s expression in all you do.
Thought it would be fun to share the joy of reading and releasing words onto the page, infusing them with love and spirit, (in some cases crafting) and in others leaving the jagged edge of inspiration untouched, with my reading this work, check it out here on soundcloud.
It is a true heartfelt joy to also read great poetry. Something I love to do everyday.
May the days ahead bring more wisdom and insight and always Love as we practice untrammeled joy!
Lots of Love.