Monday, January 18, 2021

Close In

There were SO many possibilities for my "C" post - go ahead, close your eyes for ten seconds and invite in all the C words that come to you - I'll wager there are a slew of them, right there top of mind.

But I went in a different direction. Please read the words, close in, as meaning in close proximity to, rather than meaning confinement, as in the walls are closing in

The thought behind the words comes from a David Whyte poem, Start Close In, which was also the title and theme of his most recent webinar series. These are the first lines of the poem:

Start close in,

don't take the second step

or the third,

start with the first


close in,

the step you don't want to take.

This is the sixth series I've taken with Whtye since last March. Through each phase of the pandemic, he has guided us through our evolving feelings about the situation, and invited us to explore who we want to be and how we want to engage with the world as we gradually re-emerge on the other side. 

There are several invitations made to us in the whole of the poem, Start Close In, (which can be found in his book River Flow):

  • Look, not ahead to an end goal, or even to stops along an imagined path, but at the ground beneath your own feet, right here, right now.
  • Stop listening to other people's voices, and stop letting them, as he so beautifully puts it, "smother something simple."
  • Start asking your own questions and listening to your own inner voice.
  • Take one small step; the first step toward creating a path that is truly your own.
  • Don't leap or skip ahead, don't rush, start close in.

The last line from the excerpt above, the one you don't want to take, is the kicker.

What is it, that first small step you (I) don't want to take?

Is it a conversation that needs having? A choice or decision that needs making but you haven't, because it's easier not to? A letting-go? Of what? A letting in? Of what? A resolve? An admission - to yourself, or to another?

I'm not sure at the moment, what is, for me, the step I don't want to take. So I'm letting the question hang in the atmosphere around me, waiting, watching, listening, for the sound of a voice close in, my own inner voice, to answer.


  1. Ooo lots to “consider” here...

  2. I currently have no steps that need to be taken, but that's not to say I haven't had many in the past, and will doubtless have more in the future. A very thought=provoking post x

    1. Well, that's the thing too, right? I feel like I have taken a LOT of the steps I didn't want to take and I'm not sure there are more right now. I don't want to feel like I have to "make up a step," if there isn't one. I think I would know if there was an important one at this point. On the flip side, I'm always certain that there is something blinding truth staring at me that I'm not seeing....So, I'm just keeping open!


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