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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger
I read this poem by David Whyte as a meditation on the alienation most people feel from their own lives. Too often we aren't really present in our own lives. "There is only one life / you can call your own..."
He is saying that something powerful, even sacred, occurs when we stop contorting ourselves to reach for the lives that are not our own. When we settle into ourselves, when we start to actually live our own lives, embody our own lives, we not only begin to really experience life deeply for the first time, we start to tap into "the one life that waits / beyond all others."
Living this way, we find our true face, our true reflection.
I especially like the ending verses: "Seeing my reflection / I broke a promise / and spoke / for the first time / after all these years // in my own voice."
To rediscover our own voice, our true voice which has been socialized back into the shadows of our awareness, we have to break an old agreement, a "promise." We must decide to no longer identify with the roles and expectations set up for us by family, friends, and our own past actions. Finally dropping all of those masks, we discover our true face, our "reflection." Then, "for the first time," we can finally speak in our own voice.
Worth reading more than once...
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M. Granger's original poetry, stories and commentaries are Copyright ©
2002 - 2011 by Ivan M. Granger.
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