DAVID WHYTE, AUTHOR:
THE THREE MARRIAGES
David Whyte is a poet, lecturer, sometime MBA professor (at least of sorts), and other things as well. See www.davidwhyte.com.
He suggests the idea of trying to balance life–something that lawyers have been taught is the route to a healthy life–is a mistake. It’s too distant, too judgmental, too lacking in immediacy, intuition, emotions of various sorts and too lacking in love.
Whyte is not portraying or preaching Christian doctrine, but there are strains of versions of it here. He his even closer to the romanticism of Blake, say, and other poets like him, many of the Nineteenth Century. (When you hear the phrase “three marriage” put infidelity out of your mind, dispose of Mormonism, and think not of the song “Three Coins In the Fountain.”)
A real work, like a real love, takes not only passion but a certain daily, obsessive, tenacious, illogical form of insanity to keep it alive. Once you have experienced the real essence at the beginning of the affair with a work, the task, as in a marriage, is to keep the work, the company [or the firm], the initial image with which we fell in love, alive. We want to be surprised again and again by where our work takes us and what kind of person we are becoming as we follow it. Like a love, or a sense of ourselves, we can nibble and negotiate at the edges but the central core of the relationship is actually nonnegotiable. A real work cannot be balanced with a marriage in a strategic was, a little it on that side, a little bit on the other; it can only be put in conversation that marriage, as an equal partner. [Notice that argument and the rationality that goes with it is not part of the package. msq] All the strategies for making them work together will come from understanding that central conversation. And what is that conversation? What is the thing called the self that drives home from a work and walks through the door into a relationship? Who is it that goes out the door in the morning and leaves a loved one, a husband, a wife, a daughter, a home behind and looks to the new future in the day?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Now one may wonder whether one’s self has a central core and one changes and evolves only by nibbling at the ends. The only solution for dealing with question is to begin by having a conversation with the book itself.
Originally posted on 05/13/2016 @ 7:48 pm