Artwork: "The Frog Prince Fairy Tale", Jane Ray (artist)
David Whyte performing The Well of Grief
Apr 6 2020

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.

From "Where Many Rivers Meet", David Whyte, 2007 (link)
  1. Artwork: “Call of the Beloved”, Lily Nava-Nicholson, 2017 (source)
  2. Artwork: “Fairies Paradise”, Lily Nava-Nicholson, 2013 (source)
  3. Artwork: “Quantum Awakening”, Lily Nava-Nicholson, 2013 (source)
Further comments
David Whyte
Apr 6 2020

"As a very serious young poet with a destination other than the right one in mind, I decided to write a long and in-depth narrative poem on grief. There was an immediate physical sense of dropping down, dropping down through the body, dropping down through the gravitational pull of each line on the page, as if leaning down ever further to drink from a deeper source. Within six lines I caught a glimmer on the bottom of that well and despite my first attempts to ignore it, and to get back to my long epic, I knew the poem was over.

All round the world, in all cultures we throw coins into wells to make a wish; this was the first time that I understood so physically that the wish is defensive and propitious: the wish, in essence is that we will be absolved from having to descend into the source ourselves. The coins take all kinds of forms, some of us have thrown marriages, friendships, hopes and dreams and most of all, our necessary and robust vulnerabilities down there in the hope that the greater and more golden the sacrifice, a sacrifice that that we hope will absolve us from having to go down to that source; and earn a truly physical, vulnerable and foundational understanding of the grief we carry with us - all magnified, I might say now, in our enclosed hermitages, by ourselves or close to others who share in different ways, the same emblematic but ultimately revealing reluctance to descend. The Well of Grief. DW"

"Essentials", David Whyte, 2020 (link)

From: https://www.facebook.com/PoetDavidWhyte/videos/316711775974968/

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