It’s a new day

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast. I will sing and make melody. Awake, my soul! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn.*

The adjacent possibilities are plenty but can dissipate when met by our plans.

A friend introduced me yesterday to David Whyte’s A Morning Poem:

In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake,
coming back to this life from the other
more secret, moveable and frighteningly honest world
where everything began,
there is a small opening into the new day
which closes the moment you begin your plans.

What you can plan is too small for you to live.
What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough
for the vitality hidden in your sleep.**

I didn’t know it when I arose this morning that I would be reading a very similar thought from John O’Donohue:

May morning be astir with the harvest of night:
Your mind quickening to the eros of a new question,
Your eyes seduced by some unintended glimpse
That cut right through a surface to a source.

A morning when you become a pure vessel
For what wants to ascend from silence

To reach beyond silence
And the wheel of repetition.

In order to come to birth
In a clean line of form,
That claims from time
A rhythm not yet heard
That calls space to
A different shape.^

I’d already read these words and passed on when I re-read Whyte’s. I almost missed the significance of them, moving on to read other lines in other books.

That’s the problem, we can so easily miss that moment of possibility, of imagining a different day: it led to an idea for a piece of art.

In this moment Whyte mentions, there’s the possibility of forgetting what we were going to do, and re-membering what we could do.

Bring the unplanned possibilities to birth.

Here is Whyte’s poem for morning in its entirety:

In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake,
coming back to this life from the other
more secret, moveable and frighteningly honest world
where everything began,
there is a small opening into the new day
which closes the moment you begin your plans.

What you can plan is too small for you to live.
What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough
for the vitality hidden in your sleep.

To be human is to become visible
while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others.

To remember the other world in this world
is to live in your true inheritance.
You are not a troubled guest on this earth,
you are not an accident amidst other accidents
you were invited from another and greater night
than the one from which you have just emerged.

Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window
toward the mountain presence of everything that can be
what urgency calls you to your one love?
What shape waits in the seed of you
to grow and spread its branches
against a future sky?
Is it waiting in the fertile sea?
In the trees beyond the house?
In the life you can imagine for yourself?
In the open and lovely white page on the writing desk?^^

*Psalm 57:7-8;
**From David Whyte’s A Morning Poem;
^From John O’Donohue’s Benedictus: For the Artist at the Start of the Day;
^^A Morning Poem.

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