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David Whyte - Working Together

David Whyte
Working Together

We shape our self
to fit this world
and by the world
are shaped again.
The visible
and the invisible
working together
in common cause,
to produce
the miraculous.
I am thinking of the way
the intangible air
passed at speed
round a shaped wing
easily
holds our weight.
So may we, in this life
trust
to those elements
we have yet to see
or imagine,
and look for the true
shape of our own self,
by forming it well
to the great
intangibles about us.



-- David Whyte
      from The House of Belonging 
      ©1996 Many Rivers Press
Written for the presentation of The Collier Trophy to The Boeing Company marking the introduction of the 777 passenger jet.

Thank you tocathy_edgett
David Whyte - Working Together - Heart Happy


I can't help t!!  The beauty and the value of this poem is enhanced by my not knowing the occassion for its presentations.  Birds and jets may fly in the same sky but they do not occupy the same emotional or spiritual space for me.  If human flight ever inspired awe in me, it was never the same wonder that birds did and still do inspire.  Human flioht,for good or ill, is certainlly an "achievement."  the flight of birds is something else entirely.

When Mother Theresa of Calcutta characterized the United States of Ameroca as "a spiritual Bangladesh."  she was, i think, suggesting that we are as deprived spiritually as one of the poorer countries of the world is deprived economically and technologically  It is as though the words attributed to Jesus: You cannot serve both God and Mammon have been challenged by us.  "Oh, yes, we can!"

Yes, i help shape the world as it helps shape me; but sometimes it seens that this process has made a ghastly mess of both me and the world.  Conservatives and liberals work together to destroy the United States while governments and rebels work together to destroy the world, (a task which i feel governments are quite capable of "achieving" by themselves.)  Working together does not work for good on  the material plane becasuse working together is almost always subordinated to working against some other group that is working together.to have more or be more of something.

Working together only works for good when each recognizes that all things are in essence one non-thing, a seamless,  formless unity to which any name we assign "it" cannot be "its" real name.  But i can enjoy this poem only by naming the flying object "bird."

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