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

On the Way to Windsor

By what road did you come?
I can tell by your eyes—
you lost something along the way.
Were you hurt or did you do the hurting?
Me? Both.

Did you drop anything willingly?
I know. That’s a hard one.
I seem to have lost everything
that identifies me.
My heart’s become a knapsack
with torn little holes.
I knew we’d meet like this.

Oh, there are those who keep to themselves.
When the wind sounds like a loved one,
they come out and squint.
But tell me, what does it mean
to dream on this side of suffering?

That we can rest more?
That we can hear small birds
unlace the dawn?

It seems very simple now.
We can finally talk when there isn’t
much to say. It’s quite beautiful,
isn’t it?
— Mark Nepo from Reduced to Joy

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