From David Whyte's poem
* * *
You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.
Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.
Raymond Carver's poem
And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on earth.
From Mary Oliver's poem
"When Death Comes"
* * *
When it is over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms..
When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.
Sources: David Whyte's poem, "Sweet Darkness," is from The House of Belonging (1997), by David Whyte. Mary Oliver's poem, "When Death Comes," is from New and Selected Poems (1992), by Mary Oliver. Raymond Carver's poem, "Last Fragment," is from A New Path to the Waterfall (1989), by Raymond Carver. The Whyte and Oliver poems are also reproduced in a small anthology titled Risking Everything: 110 Poems of Love and Revelation (2003), edited by Roger Housden.