Ripening on the Vine

Is NOW your time to harvest?

David Whyte is a corporate poet, he works in large multi-national corporations by reciting poetry and telling amazing tales of his life in places as diverse as the wilds of Wales and glories of the Galapogos islands. He was originally invited into Corporate America to share with them a language that would be big enough for the territory that lay ahead of them. He ultimately has shared the language of poetry with many, many people and organisations, large and small, all over the world and in a diverse mix of industries.

He invites us all to read poetry, even just a line a day, as a way of connecting with ourselves, maybe in the same way that some people meditate – a few moments when the Strategic mind is quietened.

I heard this particular anecdote from his work entitled Midlife and the Great Unknown, and this is my précis of his version…

David had become exhausted with the job he had, he felt that he was always rushing. Rushing from one meeting to the next, from copier to reception and on and on…

He arrived in the doorway of a room where a meeting was about to start and asked ‘has anyone seen David’. He was the only David and he was obviously looking for himself!

Humiliated by this he left work and went home absolutely exhausted. That evening he entertained a dear friend, Brother David, a benedictine monk with whom he would share good wine and excellent poetry. But before they could start David pleaded with Brother David to ‘speak to him of exhaustion’.

Having checked that David was serious in his request, Brother David said ‘ the antidote to exhaustion is not necessarily rest’. He had to repeat this and then added ‘the antidote to exhaustion is whole-heartedness … you know that you have been ripening on the vine, you are ready to harvest, and if you do not harvest then you will rot on the vine. Harvests come cyclically in our lives, in all areas, life, work, or relationships and we have to make sure we reap from each harvest’.

For some of us this might mean that we have been growing into new areas, ripening our skills and making ready for a change. We may have been ready to change, to reap the harvest of an old career, to move on and greet the new season with enthusiasm and whole-heartedness. We may now need to take that step, to bring in the harvest of a career and make the change that we desire in order to rejuvenate us.

I would urge you to listen to an example of his work. Here’s possibly a good introduction… David Whyte If you have a sense that you are nearing your harvest in any area of your life then an acceleration plan might be appropriate.

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