Nov 21 “Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born”

Friday November 21 “What disturbs and then nourishes has everything
 we need.”

These blast days of wind and cold can wear even on a winter-lover like me. And when I hear, early today on NPR, that Buffalo’s 6+ feet of snow may be followed over the weekend with high temperatures and flooding, I catch my breath. And when I learn from a soul friend that a lovely little soccer-playing 3rd grader in our school on Pine Ridge, Jayla, was killed while sledding, apparently by a pack of wild dogs, grief makes its home in me. Again.

I wanted a poem about winter today as our work week ends. And found one that David Whyte wrote and published in his book of poems, The House of Belonging. Great poetry can steady us, open places of stillness in us, encourage us. “The Winter of Listening” reminds me of a nourishing one-liner written decades ago by the mystic Thomas Merton: “There is no way of telling strangers they are all walking around shining like the sun.”

Best to read a poem out loud, with some pauses. Have a blest weekend.


john sj

Today’s Post “The Winter of Listening”

No one but me by the fire,
my hands burning
red in the palms while
the night wind carries
everything away outside.

All this petty worry
while the great cloak
of the sky grows dark
and intense
round every living thing.

What is precious
inside us does not
care to be known
by the mind
in ways that diminish
its presence.

What we strive for
in perfection
is not what turns us
into the lit angel
we desire,

what disturbs
and then nourishes
has everything
we need.

What we hate
in ourselves
is what we cannot know
in ourselves but
what is true to the pattern
does not need
to be explained.

Inside everyone
is a great shout of joy
waiting to be born.

Even with the summer
so far off
I feel it grown in me
now and ready
to arrive in the world.

All those years
listening to those
who had
 nothing to say.

All those years
how everything
has its own voice
to make
itself heard.

All those years
how easily
you can belong
to everything
simply by listening.

And the slow
of remembering
how everything
is born from
an opposite
and miraculous

Silence and winter
has led me to that

So let this winter
of listening
be enough
for the new life
I must call my own.

David Whyte


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