Something is very gently,
pulling at me—a thread
or net of threads
finer than cobweb and as
elastic. I haven’t tried
the strength of it. No barbed hook
pierced and tore me. Was it
not long ago this thread
began to draw me? Or
way back? Was I
born with its knot about my
neck, a bridle? Not fear
but a stirring
of wonder makes me
catch my breath when I feel
the tug of it when I thought
it had loosened itself and gone.
BEGINNING well or beginning poorly, what is important is simply to begin, but the ability to make a good beginning is also an art form, beginning well involves a courageous clearing away of the confusing, the cluttered and the complicated to find the beautiful, often hidden lineaments of the essential and the necessary.
Beginning is difficult, and our procrastination is a fine, ever-present measure of our reluctance in taking that first close-in, courageous step to reclaiming our happiness. Perhaps, because taking a new step always leads to a kind of radical internal simplification, where, suddenly, very large parts of us, parts of us we have kept gainfully employed for years, parts of us still rehearsing the old complicated story, are suddenly out of a job. There occurs in effect, a form of internal corporate downsizing, where the parts of us too afraid to participate or having nothing now to offer, are let go, with all of the accompanying death-like trauma. In effect we must sit by the death bed of our own old, now departing wishes and come to the new step, learning that this new, less complicated self, and this very simple step, is all that is needed for the new possibilities ahead.
It is always hard to believe that the courageous step is so close to us, that it is closer than we ever could imagine, that in fact, we already know what it is, and that the step is simpler, more radical than we had thought: which is why we so often prefer to live in an almost world, why we prefer the story to be more elaborate, our identities to be safely clouded by fear, why we want the horizon to remain always in the distance, the promise never fully and simply made, the essay longer than it needs to be and the answer safely in the realm of impossibility.
‘BEGINNING’ From CONSOLATIONS:
The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning
of Everyday Words
© 2015 David Whyte and Many Rivers Press
Listen to Frank Sinatra Love’s Been Good to Me http://youtu.be/9pLpzNPiB48
photo sources foind at www.pinterest.com/al513