belonging

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I devote this post to all you people out there reading and sharing along with me.  I read every one of your comments and take my time digesting them.  I am so grateful that my words are landing in a place where they are appreciated and at times helpful.  And reflected back to me in a way that I feel more connected on this sometimes lonely planet.  I can’t express in words how much I appreciate it so I’m going to use someone else’s words.

I ran in to this poem again last night and if I could pick any words strung together that represent my intention for this blog, it would be these.  I’m just sharing an excerpt here but you can read the full poem here:

http://www.amyjanecheney.com/tellmyself.html

Or better yet, go buy David Whyte’s life changing book of poetry here:

http://www.davidwhyte.com/house.html

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I posted the poem Sweet Darkness from that book in an earlier post called seed.

This passage is excerpted from his poem titled What I Must Tell Myself.

I know this house,
and this horizon,
and this world I have made.
I know this silence
and the particular treasures
and terrors
of this belonging
but I cannot know the world
to which I am going.

I have only this breath
and this presence
for my wings
and they carry me
in my body
whatever I do
from one hushed moment
to another.

I know my innocence
and I know my unknowing
but for all my successes
I go through life
like a blind child
who cannot see,
arms outstretched
trying to put together
a world.

And the world
works on my behalf
catching me in its arms
when I go too far.

I don’t know what
I could have done
to have earned such faith.

But what of all the others
and the bitter lovers
and the ones who were not held?

Life turns like a slow river
and suddenly you are there
at the edge of the water
with all the rest
and the fire carries the
feast and the laughter
and in the darkness
away from the fire
the unspoken griefs
that still
make togetherness
but then

just as suddenly
it has become a fireless
friendless
night again
and you find yourself alone
and you must speak to the stars
or the rain-filled clouds
or anything at hand
to find your place.

When you are alone
you must do anything
to believe
and when you are
abandoned
you must speak
with everything
you know
and everything you are
in order
to belong.

If I have no one to turn to
I must claim my aloneness.

If I cannot speak
I must reclaim the prison
of my body.

If I have only darkness
I must claim the night.

And then,
even in the closest dark
the world
can find me

and if I have honor
enough
for the place in which it finds me
I will know
it is speaking to me
and where I must go.

Watching the geese
go south I find
that
even in silence
and even in stillness
and
even in my home
alone
without a thought
or a movement
I am part
of a great migration
that will take me to another place.

And though all the things I love
may pass away and
the great family of things and people
I have made around me
will see me go,
I feel them living in me
like a great gathering
ready to reach a greater home.

When one thing dies all things
die together, and must live again
in a different way,
when one thing
is missing everything is missing,
and must be found again
in a new whole
and everything wants to be complete,
everything wants to go home
and the geese traveling south
are like the shadow of my breath
flying into the darkness
on great heart-beats
to an unknown land where I belong.

This morning they have
found me,
full of faith,
like a blind child,
nestled in their feathers,
following the great coast of the wind
to a home I cannot see.


~David Whyte

from his book of poems
the House of Belonging

In my opinion if you ever purchase a book of poetry, this is the one to get.  I have read so many of these poems over and over again.  I am so grateful to have landed in a room with David Whyte one day in Boston over a decade ago.  He was a speaker at one of those “Celebrate Your Life” events or something like that and I had no idea who he was but if he was the only speaker I saw that entire weekend, it was worth the price of admission.

I’ve seen him read three times now and own some of his taped poetry readings.  That is also worth it because of his delicious British accent. 😉

Well, have a listen here yourself:

If you’ve been resonating with any of my writings lately, that little two minutes will be a soothing balm.  Just please trust me on that and take a listen.

I got a video sent to me this morning from the gal I’m meeting back at the Ranch on Saturday.  She invited me to meet her for lunch as soon as we arrive. I picked up a funny little gift for her last night and one for me too so we could be twinsies.  She calls it “Summer Camp for Adults” which is exactly what it is there and so much more.  Wearing matching T shirts is such a girl camp thing isn’t it? (oops hope she doesn’t read that before Saturday).

I clicked on this and it brought instant tears to my eyes.  This place is a place of Home for me.  It has that inclusion and place of Belonging I crave and that Whyte talks about.  I have made friends there, like Tracy, for a lifetime in just one week.  We met there three years ago, my first time there and have been in touch ever since.  It fosters that kind of connection so deeply.

Just two days ago, I was so fixated on my window seat and I was envisioning myself holing up in my casita and just curling up in to a place of recovery.  I was thinking that it would be a stretch for me to go to meals and converse, that I’d be horrible company, that I wouldn’t even want to sit at a table with me.  I didn’t even want to sit at a table with myself now I thought!

But seeing this video breathed life back in to me.  That the magic of this place resuscitates you in a way that you have no option but to open and open quickly.  It heals you and connects you. Back to yourself, to others, ushering you back to the world. Boy do I need that right now.

mevinn

(me with Vinn Marti, the founder of Soul Motion who I danced with my first visit)

This so sums up what the Ranch experience is like and that feeling of belonging.  I just know I will feel more connected the minute I get on the plane, on the bus, through the gates.

Thank God I ever found this place, just like I thank God I ever found David Whyte.

Signing off with a funny photo of Tracy and I with our Latin dance instructor Manuel who at some point that evening, we or I should say I, ended up putting dollar bills in his pants on the dance floor.  The last night there.  I expect to have this kinda joy back by the end of next week, if not long before.  This is the me I know and love and need.

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8 thoughts on “belonging

  1. Our Dear Kathy,

    Like yourself reading all of our comments, I too read every single word you post sometimes more than once. I’ve been unable to post a comment on your last three posts because I felt I had nothing to offer other than prayer. I felt so inadequate putting that out there the past 2 days because of Alfonse’s black space had conjured up religiosity and I feared overwhelming you with more. Please know that when I pray, it’s Faith based. I will only claim Christianity not religiosity; and yes I have been praying in earnest for you and John.

    Yesterday I spent with my friend Denise. We try to get together at least 4 times a year. Yesterday we went to a new Mexican restaurant. You were on my mind for three days because you had posted about yourself going with a dear friend of your’s recently. I was interested in your choices of ‘chicken mole’. Well guess what I ordered?????? – Chicken Mole! Because it was something new to me it opened the door to discussing how I came to want to try it. Were your ears ringing at about noon to 2:00pm CST on Wednesday? I shared a little about your blog and that you live in Arizona. You were so right in saying that I wouldn’t be able to taste any peanuts. I was real surprised that the sauce was so dark. I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch/dinner but the company was even better. We both touched on how we love our alone time and feel we must have it. She has three children and one of her sons also cherishes his alone time. We both agreed that if it seems to be part of one’s make-up alone time should be acknowledged and catered to. I usually read during my alone times.

    Your posts continue to touch my Heart and Soul Kathy.
    You so deserve your coming week at ‘Rancho La Puerta’. I pray that you can connect with that Beautiful smiling and happy Kathy that has such an infectious smile in the pictures above.

    God Love and Bless You . . .
    XXXOOO
    Paula

  2. lovelaw

    You know her, you love her, and she’s still in there. Remember the “seed??” This trip is your sunshine, your water. Drink it in, and drink it up!! I want to see photos of you living your life to the fullest. I’ve always enjoyed those photos on FB. Never having met you, they told the story of a vibrant, life-loving, fun-seeking, carefree individual who had all that life could offer in the palm of her hand. You’ve hit some bumps along the way, but don’t let them defeat you. This altered path might lead somewhere even better! One of my mom’s favorite things to say when things seemed hopeless, or just too tough, was: “And this too shall pass.” And you know what? It always did!! So, have fun! And…I hope you dance. (love that song) 🙂

  3. pilcherje

    “What frightens you most in life is your own happiness.” David Whyte. From your link Kathy, I’ve been immersed in Whyte. I could close my eyes and listen to that “voice” all day and yet I couldn’t help but look at his eyes as he spoke. In his 4 part series on Jerry Wennstrom, “Through Darkness,” I didn’t miss that he’d literally moved into the camera, focusing with his eyes as if he’d been looking right at me when those words hit with their best shot, the recesses of me. It isn’t any wonder the similarities in your words that have inspired and welled up emotions I’ve set aside far too long. There are “links” in tremendous loss and finding ones footing.
    And just as JPaulaJ above, I read some of your stories more than once. While I do pray for you and John, I can’t always respond when the emotion (yours) is so overwhelming. It doesn’t mean I’m not there, it means I feel the same way which means, I’m not alone. And neither are you, nor those who respond here. I read what everyone contributes. Still, it isn’t any mystery that in being with others the tangible emerges and sharing begins once again in yet another form. You my Dear are going to Rancho La Puerta! And while there with others, you can choose to be together, or layered in content with a soft pillow to dream on while alone. Find your smile, listen for your laughter. A happy exhaustion awaits you! I hope you bring several $Dollar Bills$ with you for the festivities and…dance too! XXXOOO

      • pilcherje

        Because of you I began, again. XXXOOO for that. I needed the courage to open my door. To go back in order to go forward towards the person I used to know. I’ll be a student for life. Thank you for the lessons. You’re linked on my page. I’m sending you in a Twitter message the link. XXXOOO

  4. Kitty

    You make me laugh and you make me cry! I always get excited when I see you on my email. I always cannot wait to read your words. You are a light in many lives and do not ever forget that. I feel blessed to “know” you even through cyber space. So happy you will get a well deserved break. Hugs always.

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