My friend Staci Lee and I have been collaborating on some of these writing projects. We decided this month to choose one of our favourite poems to share. I always find it a bit difficult to choose favourites. I have favourites for different reasons, and some that speak to me more profoundly during different seasons of life. For this month, I decided on “Sweet Darkness”, by poet David Whyte.

David Whyte’s words are usually soul gripping and moving. But this poem sums up a deep human experience, while asking the reader more of an existential question; propelling them into the mystical landscape of their own soul. He touches on the themes of darkness, aloneness, vitality, letting go and coming to find your own sense of self in the world.

The last eleven months have brought some very significant changes in my life. Changes that have been excruciating at times, and also some of the most life-giving. If I have learnt anything, it has been that letting go, moving forward, saying no, and having some real self-respect has very much been worth the pain. Choosing to say yes to the things and people that actually make you come ALIVE, and no to those that don’t, no to the things that would be “settling” for you, is a lot harder than we think. Listening to our inner voice can often go against cultural norms, or the opinions from family or friends. It can feel like you are stumbling in the dark, alone. And yet, there is a surety that comes from within yourself, when you enter that space, and welcome it. David Whyte’s words remind us of the sweetness of such a time. That in it, we might actually discover a vitality that we could only dream of before.

Sweet Darkness, by David Whyte

“When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your womb
tonight.

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in

Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.”

3 thoughts on “Words from a Poet

  1. This is beautiful! I also love this poem. This is a good encouragement for me to continue to listen in the dark. So glad you are writing this blog!

    Like

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