On David Whyte and the Fierce Heat of Living

cultivate courage | Dianna Bonny Photography

I posted the following poem by David Whyte last year. I was profoundly moved the first time I saw it and it continues to be one of my favorites, inspiring me in different ways each time I read the words.

It reminds me that I am smack in the center of this fierce heat of living, looking outward with firm eyes that say: this is where I stand.

Self Portrait

It doesn’t interest me if there is one God

or many gods.

I want to know if you belong or feel


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 from Fire in the Earth

Sending you fierce love and support.


Who is Dianna Bonny?

Hi, my name is Dianna Bonny. It’s my mission to candidly share my journey with you. For me, it’s all about the healing: to create a radiant healing energy for others who have befallen a similar fate. Together, we can forge beautiful lives of belonging and connection. Thanks for joining me today! I look forward to hearing from you.

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