The inspiration for Consolations was born in 2010 with an invitation from The Observer to write a short essay on regret. The limit for the piece was 300 words - barely enough, David exclaimed, for an Irishman to catch his breath. But he took up the challenge and met it with the full power of the poetic imagination, writing of regret’s haunting ability to make us appreciate just how high the stakes are in any human life, describing regret as “an elegy to lost possibilities, even in its brief annunciation.”
Over the next few years, David turned a poet’s eye for evocative imagery and a philosopher’s reflection on meaning and context toward 52 ordinary words - coincidentally and somehow appropriately, a deck of cards. Beginning with Alone, and concluding with Withdrawal, the collection inspires and nourishes, offering the deepest consolation a human being can experience - a profound sense of belonging and connection to the world.
Read the Introduction to Consolations from Maria Popova.
The ultimate touchstone of friendship is not improvement, neither of the self nor of the other; the ultimate touchstone is witness, the privilege of having been seen by someone and the equal privilege of being granted the sight of the essence of another, to have walked with them and to have believed in them, and sometimes just to have accompanied them for however brief a span, on a journey impossible to accomplish alone.
- from FRIENDSHIP
David Whyte photo credits: First image of slideshow (David in window) by Javi Hinton, remaining images by Bodi Hallett, Sattva Photo.
"About David" home page photo by Lillie Duncan. "About David" page banner photo by
David Whyte speaking photos by Matthias Bouche, Salt Lake City.