Poetry: “Everything is Waiting for You”


Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

— David Whyte
from Everything is Waiting for You
©2003 Many Rivers Press


Mango the Mynah bird and Sarah

See David Whyte’s TED talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/david_whyte_a_lyrical_bridge_between_past_present_and_future

You are not alone.


Aloha, Renée

Banner photo: https://unsplash.com/search/photos/tea-cup

Other photos: RR


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About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

4 responses to “Poetry: “Everything is Waiting for You””

  1. Rosita says :

    I was truly needing such quotes, my dear 😘😘😘 and how are y’all doing (installed InstaGram yet) ? 😜😅
    With love,

    • reneeriley says :

      Hi Rosita: We’re good. Thanks for asking. I promise that I’ll do InstaGram the next time I travel. Aloha, Renee

      • Rosita says :

        I hope so too 😜😘 also, I’m legally adult today – well, it’s still 8 of September here, but I suppose Hawaii time zone is different -, have mixed feelings about it… nostalgia, excitement, fear, everything. it ain’t an easy journey, but I don’t feel bad about turning adult, really. I mean, even tho I wish I still was a kid at times, I embrace adulthood with its responsibilities ‘cause I’m gonna be free of school in a few months and can’t wait to start working to make world a better place for us all 😀 I started selling art – well, no really selling, but changing for DeviantArt points, which can be changed for real money if one has PayPal -, so, I kinda started getting independent, even tho it’ll take some steps ‘til I’m no longer dependant on others, I start uni next yr. I’ll be either ur future lawyer or diplomat, having a hard choice 🙈😂
        With love,

      • reneeriley says :

        Hi Rosita: Happy Birthday!! Wishing you health, happiness, good work, good friends, deepening love and wisdom, adventures – and a wonderful future. Aloha, Renée P.S. My birthday was on September 4th

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