From Coleman’s Bed

by David Whyte

Be taught now, among the trees and rocks,

how the discarded is woven into shelter,

learn the way things hidden and unspoken

slowly proclaim their voice in the world.

Find that inward symmetry

to all outward appearances, apprentice

yourself to yourself, begin to welcome back

all you sent away, be a new annunciation,

make yourself a door though which

to be hospitable, even to the stranger in you.


Can we, like Rumi said, be a guesthouse and invite in all the parts of ourselves who knock on the door of our hearts? Wholeness is just that, it leaves nothing out. No part of us is outside of our wholeness and the inner mother and/or inner father loves and welcomes home all parts that we have exiled, outcast or relegated to the shadow. Slowly, as we gain resources, we regain the parts of us we had lost. Wholeness is born of love, of attending, of connection and of trust. Trauma, whether from childhood, or from the grief of the state of the world, the ungrieved griefs over generations or the onslaught of screens and speed, noise and light pollution, or, as the San Bushmen say, from living houses, keeps us caught in fragmentation. Wholeness, which we can experience within a healthy truly adult community or when we are in a wild place, where our nervous systems can hook into the indigenous and ancient wholeness and health of the forest and the elements and regulate itself, is renewal and resource, both. Wholeness is both always there and something that can be restored. It is the path of Touching Soul.