03.29.2011 Posted In: Keynotes By meghan oconnell
I felt the wind at my back, just a few minutes into David Whyte's keynote address on Saturday morning. I knew I was embarking on a journey with a wise and generous guide who could show me how to see with fresh eyes. I followed, trusting his knowledge of the landscape of the heart and his willingness to share, with sincerity, the ups and downs of his own journey.
He led us through a varied landscape — a mix of poetry and story, reflection and prophecy. Along the way he invited us to consider again the landmarks of our own interiority. In his company, I was emboldened to look and to see how beauty can rise from ash; how the hurt and experiences we try to avoid are simply milestones on the road of a life rich in promise.
He shared a touching anecdote about connecting with his teenage daughter
over tea. Then there was his powerful reading of Shakespeare's Sonnet 29 and, just after, a turning in the road of his address brought us to this astonishing statement:
"There's no journey of sincerity that a human being can take in life without having their heart broken."
He invited us to engage in all aspects of our lives — our loves, our work, our relationship with ourselves — in the full knowledge that we will fall short:
"If you don't become disappointed in yourself, you're not trying."
Then, with his well-known gentleness and wit, he encouraged us to abandon ourselves anyway:
"There is no way you can love without getting your heart broken, so why not get good at it?"
I laughed, I teared up and I was encouraged — literally. I left with my heart open and feeling brave about the road ahead and whatever I would encounter on my way.
I believe I was not alone.
Let us know how David Whyte touched you — in his morning address or during the workshops.
03.25.2011 Posted In: Keynotes By Jordan Magaziner
This morning’s keynote, “Cyber Intimacy and Cyber Solitude” with Sherry Turkle, perfectly fit the theme of this year’s Symposium, “Braving New Worlds”—and Rich Simon’s musical production of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” also appropriately fit the theme of exploration. Turkle, the director of MIT’s Initiative on Technology and Self and a clinical psychologist, spoke about the evolution of our relationships with technology, as illustrated by her extensive studies, as well as her own, changed perspectives and understanding of our beloved electronics.