Praying with Fringes 01/04 – I want to know if you are prepared to live in the world with its harsh need to change you

self-portrait
David Whyte

It doesn’t interest me if there is one God or many gods,
I want to know if you belong or feel abandoned,
If you can know despair or see it in others.
I want to know if you are prepared to live in the world with its harsh need to change you.
If you can look back with firm eyes saying this is where I stand.
I want to know if you know how to melt into that fierce heat of living
falling toward the center of your longing.
I want to know if you are willing to live, day by day, with the consequence of love
and the bitter unwanted passion of your sure defeat.
I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even the gods speak of God.

from Fire in the Earth  ©1992 Many Rivers Press

David Whyte reading from “self-portrait”

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