THE TRUE LOVE by David Whyte

There is a faith in loving fiercely

the one who is rightfully yours,

especially if you have

waited years and especially

if part of you never believed

you could deserve this

loved and beckoning hand

held out to you this way.

I am thinking of faith now

and the testaments of loneliness

and what we feel we are

worthy of in this world.

Years ago in the Hebrides,

I remember an old man

who walked every morning

on the grey stones

to the shore of baying seals,

who would press his hat

to his chest in the blustering

salt wind and say his prayer

to the turbulent Jesus

hidden in the water,

and I think of the story

of the storm and everyone

waking and seeing

the distant,

yet familiar figure,

far across the water

calling to them,

and how we are all

waiting for that

abrupt waking,

and that calling, and that moment

we have to say yes,

except, it will

not come so grandly,

so Biblically,

but more subtly

and intimately, in the face

of the one you know

you have to love.

So that when

we finally step out of the boat

toward them, we find

everything holds

us, and everything confirms

our courage, and if you wanted

to drown you could,

but you don’t,

because finally

after all this struggle

and all these years,

you don’t want to any more,

you’ve simply had enough

of drowning,

and you want to live and you

want to love and you will

walk across any territory

and any darkness,

however fluid and however

dangerous, to take the

one hand you know

belongs in yours.

Gui fu

Youthful Progress, A Realistic Mirror of Poets, print, Japan, late 18th-early 19th century.

 

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