Every time a crack appears in the dam that keeps my sea of grief at bay, I am reminded of this David Whyte poem:
The Well of Grief
Those who will not slip beneath
the still surface on the well of grief,
turning down through its black water
to the place we cannot breathe,
will never know the source from which we drink,
the secret water, cold and clear,
nor find in the darkness glimmering,
the small round coins,
thrown by those who wished for something else.
Source: David Whyte’s Facebook page, accessed 6 November 2020.
The audio of the video below* features David Whyte himself reciting the poem, and talking about how it came to be. The imagery is irrelevant, and I’d suggest ignoring:
I love hearing him tell the deeper story about the bottom of the well, and how he repeats certain lines, certain words, and then the entire poem in entirely different ways!
*That said, I have mixed feelings about sharing this video as it sets of an alarm related to “not taking that which is not given.” This is how Buddhists describe this ethical precept; it’s the same as Ahimsa, or non-stealing, for those of you more familiar with the yamas and niyamas of yoga philosophy. It’s hard to know if David Whyte gave permission to use his recording in this video, and I’d have to assume he did not.
Perhaps the audio is from this CD, which the video creator references? Maybe someone will see this link and make a purchase? Intellectual property on the internet is such a fascinating conundrum, and I would love to hear from you if ethical dilemmas like this are up your alley!