David Sibbet | Whiteness
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Whiteness

My writing keeps leaning into the poetic. Here is one reflecting on “whiteness” following many conversations with clients and colleagues about being culturally sensitive.

WHITENESS

I stare at the point
on the horizon where
the sun will rise.

I stare without moving
until the entire landscape
becomes white,
a trance of
not seeing.

A bird lands on a tree
near my focal point
and the movement jumps
out like fireworks,
then back to white.

I grew up in a town
where all the faces were white,
different shades of course
but not seen as color.

One year a man from Nigeria
visited, his black face jumped out
of the whiteness of my youth
in a burst of awareness.

Did this surprise later
draw me to a city
without a dominant color,
a port town, pulling from
the world, patches of white
with large splashes of color.

I wonder if whiteness is
simply the absence of color
or is it the field beyond form,
the clear white light
arising in stillness and death?

Is reaching for being white
a call to this light, an escape
from identity and control?
The sky began to glow
as I stared.

The sun itself burst through
at the very center
of my focus.

And from that point two Peregrines
rose from the tree and
spiraled into the sun.

They danced and dived, and
my vision was no longer
a field of white, but a
riot of feeling
as I flew into the day.

On the white page of my
journal, a single stroke
breaks the whiteness.

Sometimes, like a bird,
it flies unimpeded by
color or form, white
and black dancing on
the same page.

When did we lose
our connection,
to the beauty
of surprise?

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