This poem moves from distance and fear to closeness and courage. In this time of threat and violent conflict, these stanzas are worth memorizing.
“There Is No Table Long Enough”
By David Whyte
One man’s unspoken inner edge of darkness
un-confronted and un-transformed
sitting far away in his own fear,
like someone looking through
the wrong end of a child’s telescope,
like someone sitting at the end
of an absurdly lengthened table:
holds his intimate circle in fear of death
and torture, threatens their families,
poisons their lives along with his enemies,
sews everyone into the straight jacket
of immobile fear, then carefully tailors
a uniform of death for every single one
of his bullied young men to wear.
May we see then, in this allegory,
as we too, in this time, sit so far away,
the simple way an individual life
no matter how imprisoned,
transformed by generosity, saves
so many lives in the future.
May we take the time, while we confront
this fear now, on the outside
with necessary and courageous physical action,
to preempt any future evil by bringing
every hidden edge into the light, by bringing
our inner troubles into the conversation,
where heads are allowed to lean close
to one another at a table shortened
to the point of mutual understanding.
There is no table long enough
to keep us from our own unspoken darkness
but, thanks be to God, and every power
beyond us, there is no table long enough
to hold the riches of darkness transformed,
to hold the wine raised and the bread
consumed, to hold every item of our shared bounty,
brought from every field of our endeavour,
in a promised future, that despite ourselves,
will always be destined to forgiveness.
This poem was originally posted by Compassionate San Antonio
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