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David Whyte Brochure 2023

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& MANY RIVERS & MANY RIVERSDAVID WHYTEDAVID WHYTEThe Year AheadThe Year Ahead 2023 - 2024 2023 - 2024

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On the road again...Pauline Elliot

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... But not quite in the busy way as my peripatetic life before Covid. Besides mak-ing sure I have longer periods of time between travels, I am also making sure that the kind of travels and talks I am giving myself to, and the time I take to enjoy the places I go, are all conducive to sanity, to seeing friends and even to solitude. I have never been a person who stresses over things too much, but I seem to have emerged from our extended hibernation during lockdown with an even greater sense of ease on both the official and unofficial stages of life. My motto is ‘nothing can go wrong except something can go wrong’ a philosophy that, tongue in cheek, both prepares me for inevitable disasters and allows me to savour the eventualities that arise from the unexpected.Above all I have an abiding sense of my main task in life while traveling: to bring poetry, and the insights and courage implicit in good poetry, to as many people as possible and to be as fine a representation of that inheritance as I can, whether on stage or surging along amongst a crowd of harassed travelers in the many arenas of departure and arrival we have made for ourselves in this wide world.Good poetry begins withthe lightest touch,a breeze arriving from nowhere,a whispered healing arrival,a word in your ear,a settling into things,then like a hand in the darkit arrests the whole body,steeling you for revelation.

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The Case for Happiness Amidst Injustice I consider myself a student of the hours of the day. I have always had a natural monk-like need for rituals associated with the progression of a morning, of a day, or the seasons of the years, and since childhood I have always felt an overwhelming sensitivity to the peculiar ambience that gath-ers around a certain time or season. When growing up, the drawing of the curtains in our house at the outset of a Yorkshire winter always led me into a reverie and to thoughts that seemed impossible in the full light of a summer evening. Visiting Ireland, the aroma of peat in the gusty winter air was like a balm to newly revived senses. I feel indebted to all the ways the world literally got under my skin and into the very fibre of my being.I feel it very strongly even now, as I sit by the fire at the beginning of a clear cold northern winter evening, writing at the five o’clock hour, just when the horizon begins to darken and the whole world seems taken up with the quiet rituals of twilight; taken completely with the very adult necessity to unwind, to pour a glass of wine, to begin the leisurely cutting and chopping that leads to dinner. I like also to think of the qualities that made the day a good day, to which I am indebted. Nothing else is hap-pening now but five o’clock on a beautiful winter Friday afternoon and it seems that nothing else is more appropriate than this for the entire world. But of course this is not a full perspective. Someone reading this even now is watching the dawn in South Africa or perhaps taking in the perfume of a summer’s day in New Zealand. Someone is feeling the freshness of a new beginning even as I soak in the beautiful perspective of a particular ending to a very good particular day. More soberly, someone is suffering or going cold or hungry in the unending wars and conflicts of what at times feels like an irredeemable world.It can be tempting in today’s world to feel that because of the endless suf-fering, because of our inability to change the ingrained habits that con-tinually contribute to global warming, because of mutually vulnerable LETTER FROM THE HOUSE

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LETTER FROM THE HOUSE - continuedpopulations driven to extremism on both sides, massacring each other in the Middle East: that we, our individual selves, do not deserve to be hap-py or to savour the spaciousness or quiet of our own lives or the pleasures of a winter’s day or the promise of a sunlit morning. One of the signature experiences of our time is the sense of being besieged. Not only do we have the usual measure of suffering in the world, but a news industry and a political industry whose very basis of profit is built on feeding human anxiety on an hourly basis. Our abilities for happiness, and our abilities for a happy future depend on us creating a spacious foundation in our every day, free from the anxieties of the world, not only for our personal sanity, but so that those same anxieties can be addressed in a more constructive and generous way with a proper foundation of calm and a better under-standing of what underpins human contentment.Since the beginning of conscious time, human beings have always lived and sought happiness amidst the difficulties and agonies of an imperfect world. One of the foundational intuitions of every religion is that whoever gained their sense of presence through their own necessary path of suffering, endured that suffering to help others find a better way than suffering itself. That though the very essence of the world is experienced through heart-break, the joyous, generous, care-free heart is one of the greatest of human triumphs; a gift and an inspiration to others. The mother and daughter struggling through the mud of the Darien gap, fleeing Venezuela for a possible happiness in the United States, are fleeing towards a better life. How disappointing it would be for the protective mother and the hopeful daughter to find, if ever they reached their goal, that everyone in the more protected, prosperous world had unconsciously given up on the happiness they want so desperately for each other - that all they would find in their promised land was further anxiety?I am a deep admirer of the poet Jack Gilbert, both of his poetry and the courageous and abiding bid for happiness he made through all hisdifficulties and losses. His poem ‘A Brief for the Defense’ is a masterpiece of both insight and compassion. I will quote a small portion of it here.

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…The poor womenat the fountain are laughing together betweenthe suffering they have known and the awfulnessin their future, smiling and laughing while somebodyin the village is very sick. There is laughterevery day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,we lessen the importance of their deprivation.We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must havethe stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthlessfurnace of this world. To make injustice the onlymeasure of our attention is to praise the Devil.We must admit there will be music despite everything.We stand at the prow again of a small shipanchored late at night in the tiny portlooking over to the sleeping island: the waterfrontis three shuttered cafés and one naked light burning.To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboatcomes slowly out and then goes back is truly worthall the years of sorrow that are to come.Those last lines show an understanding of how nourishing the world is when we allow ourselves a deep, spacious attention to the particularities of the world, when we let go of what becomes a habit of anxiety and then the constant need to feed that anxiety. The last lines resonate with me. I recently travelled by boat from the perfectly romantic island of Capri to an industrial dockland in the Port of Naples. The memory I carry still is of a kind of abstracted beauty in Capri, held at a misty distance, but a beautiful form of intimacy in the waters lapping at the boats in the busy dockland, the shouts of crew members jovially needling one another, the grays and slightly dusty edges of the dockside buildings. The sense of adventure andnew beginning in stepping ashore amidst the busy, cheerful grime. Life isLETTER FROM THE HOUSE - continued

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astonishing in its particularities, we need much less than we think; what nourishes always issues from a radical form of simplicity. Simplicity aris-es from silence, spaciousness and appreciative gratefulness. Happiness is much closer, much more shareable and much more transformative of our world than we think.I’m with Jack Gilbert:‘To make injustice the onlymeasure of our attention is to praise the Devil.’November 17th, 2023LETTER FROM THE HOUSE - continuedDavid Whyte

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THE SEVEN STREAMS- an Irish CycleI am so very happy to have collected all of my Irish themed poems from all my years of writing, and all of my collections, into one volume, en-abling me to arrange the cycles and patterns of understanding and insight that have come to me through all the years of my relationship with that impossible-to-describe island and the shape shift-ing identity of its inhabitants. From postcards from relatives contemplated as a child in my mother’s kitchen to the rain-soaked mountains of Connemara; from sitting by the blessed wells of The Burren, the shelters of Irish Saints or the open coffins of departed friends, it has been a long, almost mythic, at times heart-breaking but always nourishing journey.The West of Ireland holds the culture of conver-sation where I perhaps feel most at home in the world: it is not only a live-ly, quicksilver conversation between people on a daily basis, but between the restless sea and the mountains, between the past, the present and the future, and most powerfully given the thread that runs through this book, the conversation between my sense of origin and the place to which I feel I am being continually borne by the neverending, cyclical and seasonal tides of a continually surpris-ing life.PRE-ORDERNEW FROM MANY RIVERSAVAILABLE TO BEGIN SHIPPINGDECEMBER 5thSpecial, leather-bound edition: quarter-bound, signed and numbered, with gold leaf and a ribbon bookmark.PURCHASEAVAILABLE NOW

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RETURNThe day started with a flurry of gullsand a single cry, as if I had spokenand out of the deep cave where my tongue lies,birds were scattering in an open sky.I went to the rail and watched them riseover the grey clouds as if the sky were a seaand the sea was cold now, full of shapesand the horsetails of winter.And I spoke, involuntary,out of a delighted mouth,the old, strange word,Ireland;joy when uttered, grief when heard.

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Art print from The Perpetua Press, created by David’s friend and acclaimed book designer, Edward Wates. Printed in the traditional method from theoriginal wood engraving and raised metal type.Signed by the artists, Hilary Paynter and David Whyte. Dimensions: 20.5” x 15”This print will ship separately from other items in your order. PURCHASE

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ONE CLEAR PATHFreeing Our Lives From the Distracted MindREGISTERNovember 19th, 26th and December 3rd10am Pacific TimeLive and Recorded - Registration still openJoin David Whyte for a Three Sundays Series looking at the ability to find one clear path, not as an obsessive narrowing, but more compassionately as the ability to return, again and again amidst all difficulties, to a deepen-ing focus. The biggest distraction from finding our pathof dedication is the way we are overborne by theflitting movements of our own restless mind.THREE SUNDAYS SERIESDavid Whyte

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WISDOM AND WELLNESS COSTA RICADavid’s solo week is sold out, but there are spaces available for his multi-faculty week alongside other presenters during Blue Spirit’s Wisdom and Wellness winter learning vacations, held at the beautiful Blue Spirit Meditation and Retreat Center in Costa Rica.Peruse the brochure here. YouTube CHANNELWe are excited to announce the launch ofDavid’s YouTube channel. Explore the first col-lection of videos, and subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be notified when future videos are posted.The blessing of the morning light to you,may it find you even in your invisibleappearances, may you be seen to have risenfrom some other place you know and have knownin the darkness and that carries all you need.May you see what is hidden in you as a placeof hospitality and shadowed shelter,may what is hidden in you become your giftto give, may you hold that shadow to the lightand the silence of that shelter to the wordof the light, may you join all of your previousdisappearances with this new appearance,this new morning, this being seen again,new and newly alive. Poetry is a Break for Freedom.DAVID WHYTEBodi Hallett

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WALKING TOURSDavid Whyte’s walking tours combine his poetry and philosophy with breathtaking walks, superb meals and an opportunity to meet extraordi-nary people deeply committed to their place in the world. On any given day, you may be introduced to a poet, a farmer, a group of world-class mu-sicians, a passionate scholar or a larger-than-life, Dante-reciting chef. No matter the location, you are invited into a circle of friendship that takes you deep into the local culture.Each morning, after breakfast, David sets the tone for the day with a talk and poetry. This gathering is followed by the day’s activities, including beautiful walks or hikes and delicious, local food. We don’t provide an itinerary, preferring to give participants an experience of awakening into each new day with openness to what may unfold. May 1st - 8th, 2024 HARVEST AND PILGRIMAGEA WEEK IN THE HILLS OF TUSCANY, ITALYFrom the first evening standing on the threshold of an ancient Etruscan tomb with the light slanting across the stone, imagining centuries of moth-ers, fathers and children making their lives amongst the olive groves, to the closing night’s celebration under the stars, the week in Italy is a moveable feast both literally and imaginatively; a true celebration of the senses; a shaping of the mind and the body through walking, seeing, listening and tasting.LEARN MOREBodi Hallett

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June 29th - July 6th, 2024POETRY, MYTH & MUSIC FOR THE SOULA WEEK IN THE WEST OF IRELANDJoin David and 35 eclectic travelers for a celebration of Ireland’s celtic cul-ture, both traditional and emerging, set on Galway Bay in County Clare. The trip is an unforgettable pilgrimage over ancient limestone and wind-blown shores, gathering at places of special inherited significance in both Irish history and the Irish religious imagination.LEARN MOREPut down the weight of your aloneness and easeinto the conversation. The kettle is singingeven as it pours you a drink, the cooking potshave left their arrogant aloofness andseen the good in you at last. All the birdsand creatures of the world are unutterablythemselves. Everything is waiting for you.David Whyte

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Inside everyoneis a great shout of joywaiting to be born