Tag Archives: david whyte

The Shrinking Woman

“The only choice we have as we mature is how we inhabit our vulnerability, how we become larger and more courageous and more compassionate through our intimacy with disappearance. “

David Whyte

from Mindfulbalance.org


For some reason I am bombarded with thoughts and articles of women growing old recently. It has been annoying. The quote above is seriously annoying.

My oldest sister called this week. she has just returned from a month in Mexico. No big deal really, she is only almost 82. What the heck it was only a couple of years ago that she was in the Baja, sleeping in a yurt on the beach. But, hey that’s my sister. That is the sort of stock I am from. Strong, resilient women. Now keep in mind I am nowhere near 82. My sister could be my mother. I often think of her that way as our mom has been dead over 10 years and she was 95 when she died, in her sleep. I was born between my sisters first child and my mom’s last. I grew up as a grandchild, sort of. But back to being old. I could aspire to be like my sister!

The movie 45 Years played at our spring film festival. My Tom Courtenay, Strelnikov from Dr. Zhivago, OMG with a very capital O, my heart-throb. I dated a man who looked just like him in 1970, I was so in love and it was so verboten. He was an American and 5 years my senior. I was only 16 going on 17,  yikes. He was the first person that told me the universe had a conscious, I was mesmerized! And Charlotte Rampling as well. I aspired to be her. Beautiful, talented and skinny. I am so excited. The movie was sad and god they were old. Sad, sad, my life seemed parallel. Look at them!

45 years

Again, today  from a blog I read, BrainPickings

Weathering, yes well I am weathered.


“My face catches the wind
from the snow line
and flushes with a flush
that will never wholly settle.
Well, that was a metropolitan vanity,
wanting to look young forever, to pass.
I was never a pre-Raphaelite beauty
and only pretty enough to be seen
with a man who wanted to be seen
with a passable woman.
But now that I am in love
with a place that doesn’t care
how I look and if I am happy,
happy is how I look and that’s all.
My hair will grow grey in any case,
my nails chip and flake,
my waist thicken, and the years
work all their usual changes.
If my face is to be weather beaten as well,
it’s little enough lost
for a year among the lakes and vales
where simply to look out my window
at the high pass
makes me indifferent to mirrors
and to what my soul may wear
over its new complexion.”

…..Fleur Adcock

And again from David Whyte

and this one is best…

“Mid life woman
you are not
invisible to me.
I seem to see
beneath your face
all the women
you have ever been.
Midlife woman
I have grown with you
in another parallel,
breathing with you
as you breathed,
seeing with you
as you see,
lining my face
with an earned care
as you lined yours,
waiting for you,
as it seems
you waited for me.
I see your
inner complexion
breathing beneath
your outward gaze,
I see all your lives
and all your loves,
it must be for you
that I wanted to become
more generous,
a better man
than ever I could be
when young,
let me join all your
present giving
and all your receiving,
through you I learn
the full imagination
of every previous affection.
Mid life woman
you are not
invisible to me,
in you
I see a young girl,
lifting her face to the sky,
I see the young woman
in haloed light,
full and strong,
standing before
the altar of time,
waiting for her chosen.
I see the mother in you,
in your past
or in some yet
to be understood
I see you
adoring and
I see you adored,
and now,
when I call your name
I want to see
day by day,
the woman
you will become
with me.
Mid-life woman
come to me now,
I see you more clearly
than all
the airbrushed
girls of the world.
I became a warrior
only to earn
your present
mature affection,
I bear my scars to you,
my eyes are lined
to smile with you
and I come to you
and unshaven
walking rough
and wild through rain
and wind and I pace
the mountain
all night
in my happy,
at finding you.
Mid life woman,
In the dark of the night
I take you in my arms
and in that embracing
invisibility feel all of your
inner lives made touchable
and visible again.
Mid-life woman
I have earned
my ability to adore you.
Mid life woman
you are not invisible to me.
Come to me now
and let me kiss passionately
all the beautiful women
who have
ever lived in you.
My promise
is to you now
and all their future lives.”

— Mid Life Woman, from The Sea In You

David Whyte

old-2I am okay with mid-life woman. I can tell you I am not going to wake up and be unhappy with my life. Hell I just bought a horse that barrel races. Yahoo!!


Listening In Winter


So let this winter
of listening
be enough
for the new life
I must call my own.


I went to the bookstore today, it has a Starbucks in it with a fireplace and I love to browse, maybe buy something or not and sit and have a coffee. I spent a good amount of time there before Christmas. Books are my favourite gift to give and I love to choose wisely and that means lots of looking and reading. I know that bookstores are probably bleeding red ink and have to diversify to stay afloat. The atmosphere had definitely changed. Christmas was gone, winter was gone and we had moved on to fitness, resolutions including a whole display on changing your life through you name it: mindfulness, meditation, yoga,  the slow movement, etc etc.,  oh, and don’t forget your Fitbit.

Pink was the colour, spring and valentines day. Healthy eating and cleanses. The mindfulness colouring books were all flowery now, winter animals were gone.

I am still stuck on sleeping in, warm beds with flannel sheets, fireplaces and good stews with lots of root vegetables. Hell there is 3 feet of snow outside.

Why does it have to be shunted off so quickly. Why can’t we just relax?  This is our time for reflection, our time to  hibernate, renew.

We are all so hep to start a new year, a new regime, find a new us. Don’t we know that:

What we strive for
in perfection
is not what turns us
into the lit angel
we desire,


The Winter of Listening
by David Whyte

No one but me by the fire,
my hands burning
red in the palms while
the night wind carries
everything away outside.

All this petty worry
while the great cloak
of the sky grows dark
and intense
round every living thing.

What is precious
inside us does not
care to be known
by the mind
in ways that diminish
its presence.

What we strive for
in perfection
is not what turns us
into the lit angel
we desire,

what disturbs
and then nourishes
has everything
we need.

What we hate
in ourselves
is what we cannot know
in ourselves but
what is true to the pattern
does not need
to be explained.

Inside everyone
is a great shout of joy
waiting to be born.

Even with the summer
so far off
I feel it grown in me
now and ready
to arrive in the world.

All those years
listening to those
who had
nothing to say.

All those years
how everything
has its own voice
to make
itself heard.

All those years
how easily
you can belong
to everything
simply by listening.

And the slow
of remembering
how everything
is born from
an opposite
and miraculous

Silence and winter
has led me to that

So let this winter
of listening
be enough
for the new life
I must call my own.