Self Portrait

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 heard, in that fierce embrace, even the gods speak of God.

—David Whyte