Questions That Have No Right to Go Away

Yosemite forest
Yosemite forest

David Whyte is one of my favorite poets. I love the simplicity of his language and the power of the images he uses. Like the idea of walking noiselessly through a forest, like an explorer stalking important prey. In this case, David asks you to confront a question, but not just any question.  A question that has not right to go away.

We all have such questions. Did I marry the right person? What is my true calling? How can I live more authentically?  For me, the time around the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas are the perfect time to ask such deep questions. Surrounded by family and friends, memories and family photos, I often look back on my life or take stock around the holidays. This time of year is ripe for reflection. Full of possibility. Enjoy the poem.  Everything is waiting for you!


by David Whyte

if you move carefully
through the forest

like the ones
in the old stories

who could cross
a shimmering bed of dry leaves
without a sound,

you come
to a place
where the only task

is to trouble you
with tiny
but frightening requests

conceived out of nowhere
but in this place
beginning to lead everywhere.

Requests to stop what
you are doing right now,

to stop what you
are becoming
while you do it,

that can make
or unmake
a life,

that have patiently
waited for you,

that have no right
to go away.

~ from Everything is Waiting for You