Solace & Poetry: a day with poet David Whyte

Tess Wixted

What can solace offer us? According to poet David Whyte it's a gift just waiting to be opened.

He reminds us that we human beings cannot quite believe the depth, drama and even the disappearances involved in the average human life. Each one of us grows almost against our will into a steadily unfolding story where the horizon gets broader and more mysterious, the understanding of loss and mortality more keen, the sense of time more fleeting and the understanding of our own mistakes and omissions more apparent. In the midst of this deepening we have to make a life that makes sense: there is no other life than the one that involves this constant beckoning, this invitation to the fiercer aspects of existence.

From Letter From the House, he explains:

One of the most beautifully disturbing questions we can ask, is whether a given story we tell about our lives is actually true, and whether the opinions we go over every day have any foundation or are things we repeat to ourselves simply so that we will continue to play the game. It can be quite disorienting to find that a story we have relied on is not only not true - it actually never was true. Not now not ever.

Solace, our time alone in seclusion, in silence, can become a vessel for exploring those stories, those whispering questions. Through poetry and the insights of poetry, looking at the fruitful discipline of first finding, then asking, ever keener and more beautiful questions, we can deepen into our world and our part in it. Most especially, these questions can work to reshape our identities, helping us to become larger, more generous, more courageous; equal to the increasingly fierce invitations extended to us as we grow and mature.

Join David Whyte for Solace: The Art of Asking More Beautiful Questions on Saturday, May 3. Contact Continuing Studies, x2513 for more information and to register.

See our new blog post featuring spring and a poem by David Whyte.