Start Close In

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 of starting the conversation.
Start with your own question,
give up on other people's questions,
don't let them smother something simple.
To find another's voice follow your own voice,
wait until that voice becomes a private ear
listening 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. ~ David Whyte

Friday, November 28, 2008

As always, David Whyte gives sound and profound advise - and raises a question. What does it mean, personally, to start close in, with that first step we are afraid to take? I would like to suggest that the first step might be a remembering of who we are as humans. In the opening pages of Nature and The Human Soul, Bill Plotkin writes:

Rather than becoming something other-than-human or superhuman, we are summoned to become fully human. We must mature into people who are, first and foremost, citizens of Earth and residents of the universe, and our identity and core values must be recast accordingly. This kind of maturation entails a quantum leap beyond the stage of development in which the majority of people live today. And yet we must begin now to engender the future human (pg 7)
To read more about this, see

As life on the planet became more complex, our capacity to remember ourselves as citizens of the earth co-emerging with all life was threatened. Many of us closed off our capacity to know all of the beauty and terror that was a part of being fully human. It is time to remember that your soul is part of the living soul of the Earth and to ask your heart to expand enough to allow you to take the first step back.

Today, and every day, take the first step toward a full remembering of who you are as a citizen of the Earth by awakening to and allowing everything that is present in the moment. Do not follow anyone else’s path. Your human-ness is uniquely yours. The gifts you have to give to life today can only be fully realized by taking your own first step. Be grateful to play your part in this unfolding universe. And wait to take that second step until this first step is completed. Do not rush yourself. Remember that there you may take this first step over and over.