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

Previously published ©2006 Many Rivers Press, Langley, WA 98260; posted with permission.

David Whyte at the Art of Living Retreat Center

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore conversation with celebrated poet, author, and speaker David Whyte in Start Close In: Seven Steps for Deepening Any Conversation, May 1–3, 2020. David is joined by special music guests Owen and Mícheál ‘Moley’ Ó Súilleabháin.

Book early to ensure your space in this much-anticipated weekend experience.
May 1–3, 2020

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