The Opening of Eyes


David Whyte is an English poet and writer whose early training in Marine Zoology had given him an astute eye for the workings of the natural world and our place in it as humans.  I was first introduced to him as the author of Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as A Pilgrimage of Identity, which I recommend to anyone exploring themes of vocation.  But for this quiet, post-holiday Friday (I hope you all had fabulous 4th celebrations!) I’ll leave you with this poem:

stormy sky

The Opening of Eyes

That day I saw beneath dark clouds
the passing light over the water
and I heard the voice of the world speak out,
I knew then, as I had before
life is no passing memory of what has been
nor the remaining pages in a great book
waiting to be read.

It is the opening of eyes long closed.
It is the vision of far off things
seen for the silence they hold.
It is the heart after years
of secret conversing
speaking out loud in the clear air.

It is Moses in the desert
fallen to his knees before the lit bush.
It is the man throwing away his shoes
as if to enter heaven
and finding himself astonished,
opened at last,
fallen in love with solid ground.

— David Whyte
from Songs for Coming Home 
©1984 Many Rivers Press

–Caren Swanson

Image by flickr user Ross Hong Kong via Creative Commons.

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About Caren Swanson

Caren is a former Wellness Advocate with Spirited Life who hails from a small town in the hills of NH, but currently lives in Durham, NC with her family. She enjoys growing, picking and arranging flowers, climbing the magnolia trees in Duke Gardens with her daughter Clara, and hosting potlucks with friends and neighbors.

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