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ALONE

is a word that stands by itself, carrying the austere, solitary beauty of its own meaning even as it is spoken to another. It is a word that can be felt both as an invitation to depth and as an imminent threat, as in ‘all alone’, with its returned echo of abandonment. ‘Alone’ is a word that rings with a strange finality, especially when contained in that haunting aggregate, ‘left all alone’, as if the state once experienced begins to define and engender its own inescapable world. The first step in spending time alone is to admit how afraid of it we are.

Being alone is a difficult discipline: a beautiful and difficult sense of being solitary is always the ground from which we step into a contemplative intimacy with the unknown, but the first portal of aloneness is often experienced as a gateway to alienation, grief and abandonment. To find our selves alone or to be left alone is a deep, fearful and abiding human potentiality of which we are often unconsciously, deeply afraid.

To be alone for any length of time is to shed an outer skin. The body is inhabited in a different way when we are alone than when we are with others. Alone, we live in our bodies as a question rather than a statement. The permeability of being alone asks us to re-imagine ourselves, to become impatient with ourselves, to tire of the same old story and then slowly hour by hour, to start to tell the story in a different way as other parallel ears, ones we were previously unaware of, begin to listen to us more carefully in the silence. For a solitary life to flourish, even if it is for only for a few precious hours, aloneness asks us to make a friend of silence, and just as importantly, to inhabit that silence in our own particular way, to find our very own way into our own particular and even virtuoso way of being alone.

To inhabit silence in our aloneness is to stop telling the story altogether. To begin with, aloneness always leads to rawness and vulnerability, to a fearful simplicity, to not recognizing and to not knowing, to the wish to find any company other than that not knowing, unknown self, looking back at us in the silent mirror. One of the elemental dynamics of self-compassion is to understand our deep reluctance to be left to ourselves.

Aloneness begins in puzzlement at our own reflection, transits through awkwardness and even ugliness at what we see, and culminates, one appointed hour or day, in a beautiful unlooked for surprise, at the new complexion beginning to form, the slow knitting together of an inner life, now exposed to air and light…

©2014 David Whyte
Excerpted from ‘ALONE’ From the upcoming book of essays CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.

We Are Here

essentially, to risk ourselves in the world, we are a form of invitation to others and to otherness; we seem meant to hazard ourselves for the right thing, for the right woman or the right man, for a son or a daughter, for the right work or for a gift given against all the odds. And in all this continual risking the most profound courage may be found in just the simple willingness to allow ourselves, amidst the hazard and vulnerability, to be happy along the way…

©2011 David Whyte Excerpted from ‘LONGING From the upcoming book of essays CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.

Everything is Waiting for You

Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

— David Whyte

(via This Object Doesn’t Really Exist…When You See What I Mean You’ll Flip)

(via Wink Space: An Immersive Kaleidoscopic Mirror Tunnel Inside a Shipping Container | Colossal)

The Paradox of Change. 

Jonathan Fields’ Good Life Project

by my friend, Sarah Brose

"To be fully human is to be wild.

Wild is the strange pull and whispering wisdom. It’s the gentle nudge and the forceful ache. It is your truth, passed down from the ancients, and the very stream of life in your blood. Wild is the soul where passion and creativity reside, and the quickening of your heart. Wild is what is real, and wild is your home.”

Reckless Poem

Listen with your soul.
Leave space to wonder.
Do your own thing.

- Danielle LaPorte

NEW Bon Iver. Heavenly Father

* * *

ever since i heard the howling wind
i didn’t need to go where a bible went 
but then you know your gifts seemed heaven sent
just lead me to a choler, dad, thats the thing

i don’t know how you house the sin
but you’re free now
i was never sure how much of you i could let in
am i free now
won’t you settle down baby here your love has been
heavenly father
it’s defiantly lava
why you don’t carry other names

heard about a day where it dropped the Know
to go another day as we learn to close

cause I’m a known coward in a coward wind
but you’re free now
you turn around now and you count to 10
to see you go now
well i know now honey that i can’t pretend
heavenly father
is whose brought to his autumn
and love is left in end

i just been up here for god damn years 
can you see now?
filling up hulls with god damn fears
i am free now
i know about it darling i been standing here
heavenly father
is all that he offers
a safety in the end

Existential Bummer

"Man is literally split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with a towering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order blindly and dumbly to rot and disappear forever" 
-Ernest Becker. 

Promise me
you will not spend
so much time
treading water
and trying to keep your
head above the waves
that you forget,
truly forget,
how much you have always loved
to swim.

- Tyler Knott Gregson

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