Session 4: Shadow

Our theme for this mix is “Shadow”—the dark aspects of our being, and the dark aspects of life. As we reintegrate the light and dark aspects of our being and our experience, we deepen and ensoul our creativity.

The mixtape for this session looks at both interior and exterior shadow—the banned or orphaned aspects of our individual interior experience and emotions, and the painful aspects of life. All things we would prefer to avoid, even though we know that none of us is immune.

What if it’s possible to have a generative relationship with the hard parts of life? What if we could come into a generative relationship with loss, grief, and the parts of life and ourselves we prefer to ignore?

Listen to the audio mixtape

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00:00  David Whyte, The edge you carry with you

02:46  Introduction

6:30    Excerpts from Francis Weller, The Wild Edge of Sorrow

16:34   Jack Gilbert, Michiko Dead

18:39   Hanna du Plessis:
Getting through the first 17 hours after learning you might have ALS: a how-to guide

24:50   Robert Bly on the black bag

32:03   Marc Rettig, Sometimes when I have no words

36:00   Pilgrim’s Journey

40:26   Derek Walcott, Love After Love (Marc Rettig and Helena Bonham Carter)


“Clapping Music for 5 Performers” by Steve Reich, arranged and performed by Santi Carcasona.


Robert Bly, A little book on the human shadow

Helena Bonham Carter reads Derek Walcott’s “Love after love” (YouTube)

Hanna du Plessis’ essay can be found among her writings at

Jack Gilbert, The collected poems of Jack Gilbert

Marc Rettig, “Sometimes when I have no words,” unpublished

Francis Weller on Grief (YouTube)

Francis Weller, The wild edge of sorrow

David Whyte on The Kasich and Klepper Podcast, Episode 10

A little extra

David Whyte’s audio CD, “The Poetry of Self-Compassion” (Google Drive folder)
The Beowulf passage begins with Track 10