Where You Need to Be

From “Just Beyond Yourself,” by David Whyte

That’s how
you know
it’s where
to go.

That’s how
you know
you have
to go.

how you know.

Just beyond
where you
need to be.


I first heard this poem juxtaposed with Antonio Machado’s famous “Caminante, No Hay Camino:”

“Traveler, there is no path; / you make the path by walking.”

And, when you look back, there is again no path: “only a ship’s wake on the sea.”

Even if it’s true that we can only get there at walking speed, it’s equally true that we can get there only by walking.

The point on the horizon ahead where the path vanishes is always receding before us. And it is, as always, where we need to be.

This we know — and so must go.