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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

Tuesday, April 23, 2024: It is still possible to be kind to yourself, to drop constraints and fall often to your knees,

From our Emmaus Retreat in Carmel, April 17 – 20, 2024

It is still possible to be kind to yourself, to drop constraints and fall often to your knees,

This is our Thursday Morning Reading from the poem by David Whyte: Still Possible

Part 1 of 5 (I'll share a piece each day).

Please note:

  • There's a link at the end of the poem to all the wonderful songs chosen by Sister Maureen and played at the retreat. Each of us has access to the songs and you may want to download them for yourself. We might think about using some of them in our upcoming celebrations.

  • I've also attached the entire poem in PDF and WORD formats.

  • Please read the lovely note passed along from Dan Vrooman from Sister Maureen. Jim Jepson also wrote a heartfelt appreciation.

Poem by David Whyte: Still Possible: Part 1 of 5

It is still possible to be kind to yourself,

to drop constraints and fall often

to your knees, it's not too late now,

to bow to what beckons,

the world still swimming

around you as you kneel transfigured

by what sweeps on, it's still possible

to leave every fearful former self

in the wake of newly-heard words

issuing from an astonished mouth.

It's still possible to feel your body

as fully here and fully you, but not

quite your own, to find you can live

both entirely as yourself and in

the lovely anonymous multitude

of elements around you, that you

have always been a brother and sister to the

clouds beyond the window;

or have lived your secret, unspoken

marriage with the pale blue sky

for more years than you could ever

remember; and that you have always been

proud to be, through all

your difficulties, a loyal companion

and friend to the foaming tide,

coming and going, appearing and

disappearing with you,

and for you, day after day

on the ceaseless shore.


Link to all songs Maureen chose for our retreat in Carmel

Emmaus Retreat Carmel 2024 full Poem by David Whyte_v2
Download PDF • 50KB

Emmaus Retreat Carmel 2024 full Poem by David Whyte_v2
Download DOCX • 27KB

April 22, 2024

“But to the brim my heart was full,

and on I walk in blessedness

which even yet remains.


Dear “Beloved Emmaus Community,”

We had a beautiful ride home with little traffic. I hope you did as well.

The above quote, which David Whyte recites in his presentations, came to me as we were ritualizing our farewells. It has stayed with me through Sunday and on to today. When my heart goes bump, when my arms kind of quiver, when I feel a bit of aura fall upon me, I know to look for where God is showing up. (God shows up much less dramatically, too, but these affects capture my attention big time!)  All of that came over me Saturday. We were “blessed with magic (or GRACE)” as Betsy Rose sings.


We said a great deal about the care and love in your community over the

days that I don’t need to repeat here. But, repeated they are inside, as I let the days rinse back through me. I have so many visuals of our time which I cherish, hold on to. As they come, I return to know that the Holy Spirit indeed “takes over” and has been with me, with us, “beyond what we can ask for or even imagine.” (Ephesians) There is a God and indeed She is alive.


Thank you again for the invitation, for the LONG ride to Carmel, for your affirmations, for entering in with your whole heart, for taking the risk to “remember your name”, to embrace the reflections around anchorage and migration.


God is good all the time, we say. Next time we are together, I am bringing my guitar and will teach you “How good you are God”!! You will love it.


With a heart full but to the brim,


And from Jim Jepson:

To my friends in the Emmaus Community:


It was a joy to see all of you that were at the retreat at the Angelica House in Carmel.  It’s been over four years since I have been able to see you in person, but it seems like no time has passed (except for the ravages of time which affect some of us).  I particularly appreciate your kindness in providing the care and consideration you gave me in getting around the retreat house and seeing that I was fed and comfortable.


I look forward to seeing you all on Zoom in the coming months.


With great respect and appreciation ,

Jim Jepson

(Photo by Bob McFarland)

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