HALF A SHADE BRAVER: The Foundational Elements of a Courageous Life
Courage is a word that tempts us to think outwardly, to run bravely against opposing fire, to do something under besieging circumstance, and perhaps, above all, to be seen to do it in public, to show courage; to be celebrated in story, rewarded with medals, given the accolade. But a look at its linguistic origins is to look in a more interior direction and toward its original template, the old Norman French, coeur, or heart.
Courage is the measure of our heartfelt participation with life, with another, with a community, a work; a future. To be courageous is not necessarily to go anywhere or do anything except to make conscious those things we already feel deeply and then to live through the unending vulnerabilities of those consequences. To be courageous is to seat our feelings deeply in the body and in the world: to live up to and into the necessities of relationships that often already exist, with things we find we already care deeply about: with a person, a professional future, a possibility in society, or with an unknown that begs us on and always has begged us on. To be courageous is to stay close to the way we are made.
Through the revelations of poetry and the poetic tradition David will guide us to look into some of the bold, sometimes courageous, always robustly vulnerable and sometimes painful steps in bringing our seemingly interior states out into the world, to be and to do, to achieve and above all to give.