Hope & Healing Through Photography and Poetic Expression

I Want To Know


It doesn’t interest me if there is one God
or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel
abandoned.
If you know despair or can see it in others.
I want to know
if you are prepared to live in the world
with its harsh need
to change you. If you can look back
with firm eyes
saying this is where I stand. I want to know
if you know
how to melt into that fierce heat of living
falling toward
the center of your longing. I want to know
if you are willing
to live, day by day, with the consequence of love
and the bitter
unwanted passion of your sure defeat.
I have been told, in that fierce embrace, even
the gods speak of God.

~David Whyte

This poem entitled, Self Portrait was written by David Whyte, and is an excerpt from his book
Fire In The Earth. It resonated with me as I reflected upon my feature image today, which portrays my own shadow during a visit to the woods, where I often go to contemplate life’s hard questions. Hope you enjoyed.  

Much Love ~ RL

 Click here to read an interesting analysis of Whyte’s poem:
Analysis of “Self-Portrait” « THROUGH THE HEALING LENS


24 responses

  1. Such a heavy subject that can go down so many different trails…compelling.

    May 10, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    • Yes Scott, I agree. Made me go deeper too… sort of shakes the soul for a minute. I do a lot of very light/fun and inspirational work here, but every now and then I need to move into this more contemplative direction which lends perspective in a more serious way. I thought the poem challenges our psyche some… and my thought was most of my followers would appreciate that. I really liked his style of writing too — and thought it matched how I felt that day I shot my shadow in the woods. Thanks so much for your feedback. Really appreciate!!

      May 10, 2012 at 1:37 AM

  2. Nice quote. Interesting quote. Love, Mindy

    May 10, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    • Thanks Mindy… yes I thought so too. A bit heavy compared to my typical posts, but hey – it’s my blog and I go to the deep/dark side at times so have to stay real – right? xo

      May 10, 2012 at 1:38 AM

  3. Love the quotes, thanks for sharing!!! Like the pic too, your shadow also giving cool pose 😉

    May 10, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    • golappan – So appreciate your comment! Really glad you liked the post!! Great to hear from you. 🙂

      May 10, 2012 at 10:09 AM

      • Its my pleasure!!!! 😉

        May 10, 2012 at 10:27 AM

  4. Very moving Robyn, I always find your shadows provocative and these words are incisive…thanks

    May 10, 2012 at 5:54 AM

    • Thank you Meryl. I guessed you would appreciate Whyte’s poem. One of those that makes you go deeper and stays with you. My shadow thanks you for the compliment as well 🙂

      May 10, 2012 at 10:11 AM

  5. l love the words…but shadow you fascinates me…wonder if she’s as lovely as real you…Would you ask her please:) Seriously, Robyn i LOVE your photos!!!!!

    May 10, 2012 at 6:24 AM

    • Thanks David. So glad you liked Whyte’s piece. I actually stumbled on it after we had an exchange about the Jungian poetry subject . It really hit some hot buttons for me… and immediately I needed to pair it with one of my shadow portraits! As for “Shadow-Me” – she’s pretty interesting, but I’d imagine the real me is a trillion times more fun 😉 So glad you enjoyed David!

      May 10, 2012 at 10:17 AM

  6. I’ve really enjoyed your photos, therefore I’ve nominated you for the beautiful blogger award 🙂

    http://rayannsom.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/beautiful-blogger-award/

    May 10, 2012 at 7:08 AM

    • So flattered rayannsom! I have already accepted this award (see: Awards Awards Awards… « THROUGH THE HEALING LENS). Still I truly appreciate your finding my blog worthy! Congrats to you, and thanks tons!! 🙂

      May 10, 2012 at 10:08 AM

  7. Gorgeous poem…I love it 🙂 Thanks for sharing!!!

    May 10, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    • Thanks so much arabwriterchick! I agree, Whyte really touches the spirit with this one! Appreciate your feedback 🙂

      May 10, 2012 at 10:06 AM

  8. Chris

    Wow, what amazing words. Thanks for sharing Robyn and I’m loving the Pain Shadow series.

    May 10, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    • So glad to hear that Chris. It means a lot to me. Hope you are holding your own. Some rough days over here ~ we’ll get there. RL

      May 10, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      • Chris

        You’re welcome Robyn, I’m sorry to hear of your rough days, I too have been struggling to hold my own recently but yes we’ll get there eventually. I hope you have a better day today. Best wishes.

        May 11, 2012 at 6:00 AM

  9. Lovely Robyn 🙂

    May 10, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    • Thanks so much Cynthia…Appreciate 🙂

      May 10, 2012 at 2:16 PM

  10. eremophila

    Reblogged this on Eremophila’s Musings.

    May 14, 2012 at 7:23 AM

  11. Pingback: My Favorite “Year of Pics” Photos So Far, from A to Z: Take Two « ShutterbugSage.com

  12. Shutterbug Sage

    I loved this photo so much that I mentioned it on my latest “Favorite Pics So Far This Year from A to Z” post here: http://ayearofpics.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/my-favorite-year-of-pics-photos-so-far-from-a-to-z-take-two/. If you get a second, check it out!

    Nice work! I love following your blog!

    May 14, 2012 at 8:29 AM

    • Thanks you so much Shutterbug! I am very touched. My shadow-series is very special to me – so flattered you liked this one. I will definitely be checking out hour favorite pix listing. Great idea:) Sending you good thoughts always ~ and thrilled you are enjoying the blog!! RL

      May 14, 2012 at 11:08 AM

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