We shape our self to fit this world

and by the world are shaped again.

The visible and the invisible

working together in common cause,

to produce the miraculous.

I am thinking of the way the intangible air

passed at speed round a shaped wing

easily holds our weight.

So may we, in this life trust

to those elements we have yet to see

or imagine, and look for the true

shape of our own self by forming it well

to the great intangibles about us.

—David Whyte

Written for the presentation of the Collier Trophy to the Boeing Company, 1996. Copyright © 1996, 1998 by David Whyte. From The House of Belonging, by David Whyte. Reprinted by permission of the author and Many Rivers Press, Langley, Washington.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement