There’s a beautiful poem, “Sometimes” by David Whyte.
David wrote this poem, inspired by a Native American story of an elder showing a child how to cross the forest undisturbed—making no sound. Gliding over the leaves and through the reeds.
The poem made me think about my journey in exploring what I want to do in life. Who I want to help. How I want to help.
I don’t think these questions can be answered in a single business strategy workshop. Answers like these take time and reflection.
For the past two years, I’ve been moving carefully over the shimmering bed of dry leaves that is the who, why and what of my career. Just as I feel I’ve grasped at something, most of the answers retreat into the darkness for me to once again look for them.
What I manage to grab I quickly label. I am a virtual assistant. I help solopreneurs. I am a web designer. I am a copywriter. I don’t wait long enough because I’m afraid of the questions that will arise when I stop moving in the direction I’ve been pushing forward. When I arrive at this place, and I’m confronted by those frightening requests, how will I react?
Am I moving too quickly? Striving for the next thing. Labelling it as something I am or something I do. Maybe I should sit with it. Or perhaps lie with it.
The ones in the old stories taught us how to move through life, peacefully, gracefully without making a sound. There’s no fanfare. No shouting. They were just gliding across the dry leaves, which don’t even crunch and crattle underfoot.
The questions may be hard to answer, but they’ll create many insights and opportunities. I believe questions are essential for our becoming.
If you’d like to listen to the poet and philosopher, David Whyte read this poem and talk around it, and I highly recommend you do because his voice and reading is beautiful, you can check it out below.
The beauty of art (and nature) is that each of us can come away with something different. I’m sure that when I revisit this poem tomorrow, next month or next year, I’ll feel something different.
And I think that is the same with most things in life.