Monday, July 21, 2014

SELF-PORTRAIT


From my favorite poet, David Whyte.


It doesn’t interest me if there is one God 
or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel 
abandoned,
if you can know despair or see it in others.
I want to know
if you are prepared to live in the world
with its harsh need
to change you. If you can look back
with firm eyes,
saying this is where I stand. I want to know
if you know
how to melt into that fierce heat of living,
falling toward
the center of your longing. I want to know
if you are willing
to live, day by day, with the consequence of love
and the bitter
unwanted passion of your sure defeat.

I have heard, in that fierce embrace,
even the gods speak of God.

SELF PORTRAIT
From RIVER FLOW: New and Selected Poems
© David Whyte and Many Rivers Press

His note about this poem: Oriah took her work 'The Invitation', from this poem, which had been written many years before, after she had participated in a workshop I gave in Toronto, in which I used Self Portrait as an exercise in which people were asked to write their own versions. For reasons known only to herself, Oriah failed to attribute it. DW


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A family history



Visiting my father in Santa Fe, New Mexico this month. My dad turned 72 last year, me 42. For the first time, I have felt his keen awareness of his impermanence. While his overall health is good, he's teetering along the delicate balance of family, dogs and house responsibilities. Thankfully, he seems happier than in many years.
He pulled out all the family photos from the days when we actually developed our pictures. Culling through them, there are many of me as a child, his wife, Marcee, of over 25 years who is in full time care for Alzheimer's, and images all the many trips taken over the years with and without me. Some older ones I haven't yet riffled through. So I will begin to add some of my favorites here. 
Many of the photos of Marcee and Dad capture the spirit of their friendship and love while expose their passion for their pets and flirtation with travel with friends and some side trips taken when my dad's job allowed him to travel. I remember him to be a bit of a high achiever. But also to have a strong curiosity for the world - just like his lust for books and music. 
Andrew today, photo of me at age 4 or 5
Nathan today, photo of me age 12
Me, when dad lived in Chicago, around 1977
Me, 1978 or '79
Circa 1978
Longwood gardens, 5th grade  

Dad & me, 4th grade, age 10 ( first pair of glasses)
Mamo, Dad's mom, age 21, 1939
Marie Thoma married Prentice White, 37 in 1941 at age 23. 

Marcee, March 1972
Marcee, 1968

Marcee, Devon, Penn circa1980
Me with Marcee, 4th of July 1987

Marcee, Washington 1987
Dad, early 1980
Dad, 1987

1987
La Madera, NM '80's

Marcee, Phuket 1991
1991
Thailand 1991
Dad, Taj Mahal 1991
Mamo and Granddad Carol, Santa Fe 1992
Mamo and me 1992
Dad and me 1993
Ghost Ranch, 1989