Finding Lost Things

By Cheryl Renee Long

“Snowy Owl.” Watercolor by Cheryl Renee Long.
I see owls  as messengers between worlds. I call this space between worlds “parallel reality.”
This is my story. 


I went out of my way to see and hear popular poet David Whyte. I could read his poetry in his exquisite backpack book, but no, it was his voice I wanted to hear.

David Whyte’s mother was from Waterford, Ireland. and his father was a Yorkshireman. He attributes his poetic interest to both the songs and poetry of his mother’s Irish heritage and to the landscape of West Yorkshire. 

I fought rush hour traffic that day to see him and to hear him read his own work. I wanted to understand his internal path to his unique ideas. Perhaps he is informed by his mother’s ancient Irish tradition; I don’t know, but he takes me new places.

David Whyte arrived to a full house, and he read my favorite poems. For over an hour, his hypnotic voice filled the room. People paid rapt attention-writing in tiny journals, falling under his spell.

Excerpt from David Whyte’s poem, “Consolations”

When he finished, 300 people started to breathe again, looking at each other with amazement in their eyes.  After the reading, David signed books, standing to greet people close up, face to face. He had an exchange with each person including me.

I commented that the theme of the evening seemed to be children. He agreed, and I gave him a warm smile of thanks.

“Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.”

David Whyte, The House of Belonging

As I stepped away, my hand moved to the collar of my hooded coat. Precisely at the moment I left David, my hand found a long lost silver feather pin under my collar, a precious pin, given to me with love that I thought I had lost.

Finding lost things…like this silver feather pin…

I thought: a magical intended coincidence!

In the next moment my hand went to my pocket, and there I found a long lost turquoise bracelet.

Finding lost things…like this turquoise bracelet…

It might be easy enough to say, “Well Cheryl, you only wear this dressy Pendleton coat a few times a year.”

But I know, during the time with David Whyte, something in me slipped through into a parallel reality. My new year cycle initiated just then.  The old  year ended, and the new year began with recovering something invisible yet visible and sacred.

With his signature charm and searching insight, David Whyte meditates on the frontiers of the past, present and future, sharing two poems inspired by his niece’s hike along El Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

This talk was presented at an official TED conference.

3 thoughts on “Finding Lost Things”

  1. That was lovely, Cheryl. Thank you for sharing. Looking forward to receiving more as you travel this year.

    Happy 2020!

    xoxo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *