Start Close In — Thanks David Whyte

It snowed this week where I live. Enough to dress the trees and blanket the ground. It snowed in a way that had me pausing to delight in what was right in front of me.

David Whyte’s poetry and writings have long inspired me, also right in front of me. He has a way of speaking truth and honesty in the journey. It’s not rushing to the end. His writings, to me, invoke an essential dwelling in what is the pretty and the messy of human life, interior and exterior.

I friend recently reminding me of this David Whyte poem, Start Close In from the publication, River Flow.

With appreciation for the images, words, and friendships that nudge to the “intimate private ear” and to clarity that shapes who we are and become with others.

Start Close In

by David Whyte 

Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step
you don’t want to take.

Start with
the ground
you know,
the pale ground
beneath your feet,
your own
way to begin
the conversation.

Start with your own
question,
give up on other
people’s questions,
don’t let them
smother something
simple.

To hear
another’s voice,
follow
your own voice,
wait until
that voice

becomes an
intimate
private ear
that can
really listen
to another.

Start right now
take a small step
you can call your own
don’t follow
someone else’s
heroics, be humble
and focused,
start close in,
don’t mistake
that other
for your own.

Start close in,
don’t take
the second step
or the third,
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step
you don’t want to take.

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