lessons from the dog

“...wanting soul life without the dark, warming intelligence of personal doubt is like expecting an egg without the brooding heat of the mother hen.”
― David Whyte

i spend time with my sister; my only sibling,
and i think about how different we are, and
yet so alike. recollections surface
as we reminisce about mom and dad,
both of us with different memories,
each of us carrying within us different emotions

she is wise and insightful and i value her intuition . . .

i arrive home to him and the dog;
puppy kisses and a picked up house.
i breath deep, as the comfort of home rushes over me.
i feel both settled and restless,
and wonder if this longing will ever cease

but also panic when i think what might happen if i just accept life and stop seeking . . .

“I want to know
if you know
how to melt into that fierce heat of living
falling toward
the center of your longing.” 
― David Whyte

he has cleaned and filled all the bird feeders while i was gone, and
the yard is full of birds. i laugh as the dog flies out the door,
chasing them aimlessly one minute, and plopping down in the yard the next,
just to watch them. i am just like him i think;
pursuing life at every turn, haphazardly and without direction one moment,
and relaxing into it the next

both have their purpose, both are needed right now, both are exhausting . . .

i spend time in pursuit of that perfect life, at times almost desperate like.
and in that storm of desperation i often am left stranded and don’t know what to do. i feel invisible and distraught.
i grasp how privileged i am to be able to explore different avenues,
to be free in my world to ponder, try new things, and follow my longing;
i am blessed to even have choices. but i also understand i am the master of installing roadblocks.

and at times i find life just too daunting to move forward . . .

if i have learned one thing it is that i am a fighter, i have never stopped searching,
and, i have never stopped yearning. when that happens i will know i am in trouble.
so for right now i will pay attention and chase the birds with the dog, and when i am tired,

i will plop down and rest . . .


Eventually we realize that not knowing what to do is just as real and just as useful as knowing what to do. Not knowing stops us from taking false directions. Not knowing what to do, we start to pay real attention. Just as people lost in the wilderness, on a cliff face or in a blizzard pay attention with a kind of acuity that they would not have if they thought they knew where they were. Why? Because for those who are really lost, their life depends on paying real attention. If you think you know where you are, you stop looking.

David Whyte

cathy sly6 Comments