Thursday, January 2, 2014

Withdrawal: Meditation on the Act of Stepping Back by David Whyte

 This is Beautiful!  By one of my favorite modern poets, David Whyte.  Enjoy the wisdom of the act of non-engagement.


can be a very positive way of stepping forward and done well, a beautiful freeing act of mercy and as a human behavioral art form, underestimated in this time of action and engagement. So much of what we are involved with, in even the highest cause, becomes involvement at the busy periphery, where the central conversation has been lost to the outer edges of what was to begin with, a very simple central invitation. Withdrawal is often not what it looks like - a disappearance - no, to withdraw from entanglement can be to appear again in the world in a very real way and begin the process of renewing the primary, essential invitation again. Though life does seem determined to be a beautiful, and entrancing distraction - just as we ourselves are a distraction to others, testing them as we test ourselves and our mutual sincerity - our participation in this dance of distraction also makes more real, and more necessary, our ability to return to essential ground, to an essential person or an essential work.

We stick to the wrong thing quite often, not because it will come to fruition by further effort, but because we cannot let go of the way we have decided to tell the story and we become further enmeshed even by trying to make sense of what entraps us, when what is needed is a simple, clean breaking away. To remove our selves entirely and absolutely, abruptly and at times uncompromisingly is often the real and radically courageous break for freedom. Unsticking ourselves from the mythical Tar Baby, seemingly set up, just for us, right in the middle of our path; we start the process of losing our sense of falsity, of ridding ourselves of illusions, of letting go of our self manufactured enemies, and even our false friends, and most especially the false sense of self we have manufactured to live with them: we make ourselves available for the simple purification of seeing our selves and our world more elementally and therefore more clearly again. We withdraw not to disappear, but to find another ground from which to see; a solid ground from which to step, and from which to speak again, in a different way, a clear, rested, embodied voice we begin to remember again as our own.

© - David Whyte
from Readers' Circle Essay, "Withdrawal"
©2013 David Whyte

1 comment:

  1. Truly beautiful! Thank you. I so needed to read this now - specifically upon 'Withdrawl' and how it can be used so productively. I have actively chosen to do this for the next six months and burnt several 'bridges' in the process. Thank you for the blog, Cathy. I see I will be visiting whenever you post. Such symbolism and insight I so need. Love and best wishes.