SELF PORTRAIT

SELF PORTRAIT

 

It doesn’t interest me if there is one God

or many gods.

I want to know if you belong or feel

abandoned.

If you know despair or can see it in others.
 I want to know

if you are prepared to live in the world

with its harsh need

to change you. If you can look back

with firm eyes

saying this is where I stand. I want to know

if you know 
how to melt into that fierce heat of living

falling toward

the center of your longing. I want to know

if you are willing

to live, day by day, with the consequence of love

and the bitter

unwanted passion of your sure defeat.

 

I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even

the gods speak of God.

 

— David Whyte

from Fire in the Earth

©1992 Many Rivers Press