David White is not only a poet I admire, he is a friend.

For several years, along with a few other friends, we accompanied him on a sort of annual pilgrimage, having good conversations about whatever particular harvest one might be experiencing in one’s life while roaming the Tuscan countryside. 

His poetry speaks dearly to me about my own experiences traveling and as some of you know, I use his poetry during my own programs. As I though about our program in Amalfi and worked on our monthly newsletter, I wanted to share one of his poems with you.

It all starts with the first step — or in Amalfi’s case, taking the first plunge.

Start Close In — A poem by David Whyte

Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step
you don’t want to take.

Start with
the ground
you know,
the pale ground
beneath your feet,
your own
way of starting
the conversation.

Start with your own
question,
give up on other
people’s questions,
don’t let them
smother something
simple.

To find
another’s voice,
follow
your own voice,
wait until
that voice
becomes a
private ear
listening
to another.

Start right now
take a small step
you can call your own
don’t follow
someone else’s
heroics, be humble
and focused,
start close in,
don’t mistake
that other
for your own.

Start close in,
don’t take
the second step
or the third,
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step
you don’t want to take.