Wednesday, October 5, 2011

10 Questions that Should Not Go Away by David Whyte

Part 10 of 10

from Oprah.com

June 15, 2011
The thought-provoking poet David Whyte considers what we should be asking ourselves—especially when we least want to confront our own answers.

The marvelous thing about a good question is that it shapes our identity as much by the asking as it does by the answering. Nine years ago, I wrote a poem called "Sometimes" in which I talked about the "questions that can make or unmake a life ... questions that have no right to go away."


I still work with this idea. Questions that have no right to go away are those that have to do with the person we are about to become; they are conversations that will happen with or without our conscious participation. They almost always have something to do with how we might be more generous, more courageous, more present, more dedicated, and they also have something to do with timing: when we might step through the doorway into something bigger, better—both beyond ourselves and yet more of ourselves at the same time.


If we are sincere in asking, the eventual answer will give us both a sense of coming home to something we already know as well a sense of surprise—not unlike returning from a long journey to find an old friend sitting unexpectedly on the front step, as if she'd known, without ever being told, not only the exact time and date of your arrival but also your need to be welcomed back.


10) Can I be the blessed saint that my future happiness will always remember?



Here's the explanation for what sounds like a strange question. I have a poem called "Coleman's Bed" about a place in the West of Ireland where the Irish saint Coleman lived. The last line of that poem calls on the reader to remember "the quiet, robust and blessed saint that your future happiness will always remember."


We go to places of pilgrimage where saints have lived, or even to Graceland, where Elvis lived, because these people gave something to the rest of us—music or good works— that has carried on down the years and that was a generous gift to the future.


But that blessed saint could also be yourself—the person who, in this moment, makes a decision that can make a bold path into the years to come and whom your future happiness will always remember. What could you do now for yourself or others that your future self would look back on and congratulate you for—something it could view with real thankfulness because the decision you made opened up the life for which it is now eternally grateful?

David Whyte is the author of The Three Marriages, Crossing the Unknown Sea, and several poetry collections


Frank Lloyd Wright, Taliesen East, WI

2 comments:

yogiclarebear.com said...

I'm currently working on Rod Stryker's Four Desires program. This question really fits. As I "formulate" my "Dharma Code," which I guess is my jiva-soul's purpose, the answers to this question will revolve around that.

Thanks Kristin, I love this series.

Kristen Huth said...

From the Upanishads
You will learn that you are already supremely happy
Because you are already perfect and divine.
You are already the absolute wonder of the universe.

Kristen


http://bodyofyoga.wordpress.com