I was interviewed for a story on home funerals in Upworthy by Evan Porter, and he wrote a beautiful piece. Very grateful to be sharing it here: https://www.upworthy.com/how-a-nontraditional-funeral-helped-this-mom-process-her-daughters-tragic-death?c=hpstreamRead more
Facing My Own Mortality
Here’s the background: for the past three years I’ve had a bony bump on my forehead. It didn’t hurt or grow much, changed little, and mostly I ignored it. It started to bother me when I saw it in photographs, and to assuage my vanity, I looked into having it removed. I was pretty sure […]Read more
is not a weakness, a passing indisposition, or something we can arrange to do without, vulnerability is not a choice , vulnerability is the underlying, ever present and abiding under-current of our natural state. To run from vulnerability is to run from the essence of our nature, the attempt to be invulnerable is the vain attempt to be something we are not and most especially, to close off our understanding of the grief of others. More seriously, refusing our vulnerability we refuse the help needed at every turn of our existence and immobilize the essential, tidal and conversational foundations of our identity.
To have a temporary, isolated sense of power over all events and circumstances, is one of the privileges and the prime conceits of being human and especially of being youthfully human, but a privilege that must be surrendered with that same youth, with ill health, with accident, with the loss of loved ones who do not share our untouchable powers; powers eventually and most emphatically given up, as we approach our last breath. The only choice we have as we mature is how we inhabit our vulnerability, how we become larger and more courageous and more compassionate through our intimacy with disappearance, our choice is to inhabit vulnerability as generous citizens of loss, robustly and fully, or conversely, as misers and complainers, reluctant, and fearful, always at the gates of existence, but never bravely and completely attempting to enter, never wanting to risk ourselves, never walking fully through the door.
© May 2014 David Whyte
Excerpted from ‘VULNERABILITY’ From the upcoming book of essays CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.
I just saw this on Facebook and have to share. He writes so beautifully of vulnerability – that exquisite loss of power, of control, that place that we wish to hide from, but it always catches up with us…and when it does, we can allow ourselves to be fully in it, and it’s delicious in its realness, its absolute presence of being, when we are truly vulnerable, and surrender.
Update on NPR Interview
I promised the link to my interview on NPR, and here it is: Voices for the Cure on Arizona Public Media. Mark McLemore was a wonderful, thoughtful and sensitive interviewer, and I’m so honored to have the opportunity to share more of Elizabeth’s and my journey with more people.Read more
Elizabeth’s 24th Birthday
Dear Elizabeth, it’s your 24th birthday, and you’re not here, and you’re very much here. I didn’t know exactly how I wanted to spend the day, but I knew I wanted to do some ritual to honor you, and also something to nurture myself, some way of tending to my body – my “flesh and […]Read more
Beginning to Leave the Hospital by Elizabeth Blue
(One of Elizabeth’s essays when she was almost done with her first (and we thought only) round of chemo, followed by her musings on titles and structure for the book she planned to write about this experience. God I love her mind and and am so grateful to have these writings…) Beginning to Leave the […]Read more