my birthday present

my birthday present
My awesome birthday present 1/26/11 (see story under my first post)

Sunday, October 21, 2012


David Whyte wrote this after the death of his mother. I think it is comforting.

FAREWELL LETTER

She wrote me a letter after her death,
and I remember a kind of happy light
as I sat by the rose tree
on her old bench by the back door
so surprised to receive it
wondering what she would say
looking up before I could open it
and laughing to myself in silent expectation.

Dear son
it is time for me to leave you
the words you are used to hearing,
are no longer mine to give.
You can only hear those words of motherly
affection now from your own mouth
and only for those who stand
motherless before you.
As for me I must forsake adulthood
and be bound gladly to a new childhood.
You must understand
this apprenticeship demands
of me an elemental innocence
from everything I have ever held in my hands.
I know your generous soul
is well able to let me go
You will in the end be happy to know
my God was true
and that after so many years
of loving you so long
I find myself in the wide, infinite mercy of being
mothered myself.
P.S. All of your intuitions were true.

(David Whyte – Poet from the Pacific Northwest)

1 comment:

marie-josé said...

I just love these lines:

As for me I must forsake adulthood
and be bound gladly to a new childhood.
You must understand
this apprenticeship demands
of me an elemental innocence

It is a moment when joy meets spirituality. The highest level of spirituality, I believe, embraces joy. So does poetry.

The whole poem, through its rhythm and clarity of language, is successful. But I had to quote this passage which really struck me today.