Mark Nepo

Fighting The Instrument

Often the instruments of change
are not kind or just
and the hardest openness
of all might be
to embrace the change
while not wasting your heart
fighting the instrument.

The storm is not as important
as the path it opens.
The mistreatment in one life
never as crucial as the clearing
it makes in your heart.

This is very difficult to accept.
The hammer or cruel one
is always short-lived
compared to the jewel
in the center of the stone.

The Way Under the Way

For all that has been written,
for all that has been read, we
are led to this instant where one
of us will speak and one of us will
listen, as if no one has ever placed
an oar into that water.

It doesn’t matter how we come
to this. We may jump to it or be
worn to it. Because of great pain.
Or a sudden raw feeling that this
is all very real. It may happen in a
parking lot when we break the eggs
in the rain. Or watching each other
in our grief.

But here we will come. With very
little left in the way.

When we meet like this, I may not
have the words, so let me say it now:
Nothing compares to the sensation
of being alive in the company of
another. It is God breathing on
the embers of our soul.

Stripped of causes and plans
and things to strive for,
I have discovered everything
I could need or ask for
is right here—
in flawed abundance.

We cannot eliminate hunger,
but we can feed each other.
We cannot eliminate loneliness,
but we can hold each other.
We cannot eliminate pain,
but we can live a life
of compassion.

Ultimately,
we are small living things
awakened in the stream,
not gods who carve out rivers.

Like human fish,
we are asked to experience
meaning in the life that moves
through the gill of our heart.

There is nothing to do
and nowhere to go.
Accepting this,
we can do everything
and go anywhere.

 

Santiago- David Whyte

Santiago

The road seen, then not seen, the hillside
hiding then revealing the way you should take,
the road dropping away from you as if leaving you
to walk on thin air, then catching you, holding you up,
when you thought you would fall,
and the way forward always in the end
the way that you followed, the way that carried you
into your future, that brought you to this place,
no matter that it sometimes took your promise from you,
no matter that it had to break your heart along the way:
the sense of having walked from far inside yourself
out into the revelation, to have risked yourself
for something that seemed to stand both inside you
and far beyond you, that called you back
to the only road in the end you could follow, walking
as you did, in your rags of love and speaking in the voice
that by night became a prayer for safe arrival,
so that one day you realized that what you wanted
had already happened long ago and in the dwelling place
you had lived in before you began,
and that every step along the way, you had carried
the heart and the mind and the promise
that first set you off and drew you on and that you were
more marvelous in your simple wish to find a way
than the gilded roofs of any destination you could reach:
as if, all along, you had thought the end point might be a city
with golden towers, and cheering crowds,
and turning the corner at what you thought was athe end
of the road, you found just a simple reflection,
and a clear revelation beneath the face looking back
and beneath it another invitation, all in one glimpse:
like a person and a place you had sought forever,
like a broad field of freedom that beckoned you beyond;
like another life, and the road still stretching on.

– David Whyte
from Pilgrim
©2012 Many Rivers Press

The Pilgrimage

The Pilgrimage

Listen closely – for the whisper exists.

I have to drive to Peace River.
I want to be alone.

Come with me to Tok.
I want to be with you.

Please come sit on the edge of a Grand Canyon.
Beside me.

I, I want to walk across never-ending fields.
I, I want to walk into the heart of the Farmhouse.

I need to change, don’t I, you whisper.
I need to apologize, don’t I, I whisper.

You can if you want to, I murmur.

I don’t want it, life, this way, you say.

Essential moments of stillness and movement; of desperation and hope.

Peace River (exists) – it is the geography of our soul…whispering… “All of you is welcome here.”

Universal Promise

Living life inside memories is a life lived in endings.
The attraction to the edges of gold and gratitude draw me in, only to discover over and over they surround a deep well of joy and loss.
My mind turning to a memory; my heart expands with golden joy, love, laughter, peaceful light; brightens my heart.
It is fools gold; the closer I get, the further in I go, I lose touch with the present.
I become one with the memory.
I am as addicted to the edges as I am to the inevitability of the well.
I want to relive the edges of pleasure, evoke the joy, ever knowing the deep pain of longing will soon overcome me.

I am lulled initially as if into the endless bliss of the shimmer and warmth of swimming in the expanse of the blue green Arabian Gulf.
Then today, the truth, rolls in; dark rain laden clouds emerge across the sky and the ocean, once reflecting a clear blue sky, becomes murky grey dense black, and I with it.
All is dark. I am lost, again.

I have a heart full of memories, they are the past. They are unrepeatable.

To live one’s life, my life, back there, is to lose today.
I know this, and yet I choose powerlessness and pain, alongside the knowingness of hopeful hopelessness.
I have put pleasure, joy, connection, belonging, love, giving and receiving; the truth of today’s potentiality into the non-existent hands of yesterday.

I have put my yesterdays into my todays and into a future of; ‘Please Sir, may I have some more?’
All days, have become places of hopelessness, desperation, powerlessness, filled with unfillable requests, and are resident with my deep truth-fear that there is no more to be had, for me.

A memory, joyfilled or hurtfilled, is a moment.
To cling to it is to live into a boundary belief determining that is all that is; that a moment is a life.

To live in memories is to grieve one’s life away.
Consuming life.

There is a fog no art will lift.
There is no seerer with the date or the way.
There is only hopeless hoping.
And: as sure as fog and pain exist; there are voices gentle with love, calling us forward.

Make a dent in the couch for as long as you want.

I will sit beside you.
Walk until you wear out the soles of as many shoes as you need to.I will walk with you.
And Listen: for one day, the pain will lessen, the fog will lift, the strength of your heart will reemerge and choice will reappear.
Choice, love, is a living promise.

And I promise, love is here.

Distancing Love

I remember looking at you and thinking, dam he is married (separated but married) –  then weeks later a ‘draw’ showed up as I stood at the work site when you walked across the parking lot in that blue suit after a day of training – and you asked me to explain something about a distinction that was unclear to you and I felt this ‘deep pull’ to be in your orbit – so I let myself give over to it, and here We are.

There became this ‘energy’ of knowingness and trust that we both knew and both, at times, deeply trusted. We made lists of Bliss – it was so easy…there was such ease.
You were very clear with me, that you didn’t want to love me, and yet you do. It’s sad to me that for you it’s not a celebratory love, I’d say its a ‘distancing  love’. You know it and you don’t like that you do, you don’t trust it or yourself or me – so you keep me ‘away’ and I bet you try very hard to wish it away and ignore it. And when it shows up in your heart, it makes you mad at yourself and at me. That sucks. I would wish you could be in the joy of it  – be in the experience of it as fun, happy, pleasurable, caring, safe, feeling valued, joy filled, present.  For me, I still see your photo and I truly smile and think of you smiling back with your wicked grin or asking me something that’s interesting or irritating to you and we meander around the topic or we are just being quiet beside each other or laughing at goats or silly things or talking about the crazy idea of sitting in gold ornate chairs at the movies or you are telling me some interesting people experience…or best is you just ‘being’ in your contented uncluttered energy. I can imagine you in all those ways and even now I feel free, happy, excited, quiet and abit giggly inside.  You bring out the best of me – that’s what was the draw of you for me – I experienced you being genuinely happy for whatever I was up to  -because  I let you and you let me see my essence.
I don’t want to change you. I don’t. I want to be ‘with’ you – to be in each others’ orbits. I know its a change you’re not going to step into.  That’s my deep loss.  I can only say that I trust the alchemy of us. For me it is real and true. It exists in your slow smile that reaches across space and time where you show yourself as the truth of you – a loving, smart, sexy human that shines out into the world – even from behind your sun glasses.
I know you are not wanting to hurt me. You have not broken a promise or led me down a wrong path. I am responsible for my experience of you and my love is  ‘what happened’ I do not regret or wish it had not happened. I love you and that’s been an experience of joy for me. Losing you, is my  loss and that is my sadness and disappointment, which is just life and freedom of choice and the very real risk of allowing oneself to deeply appreciate another.
You have been a true gift in my life Image – not because of bliss inducing sex or because you held my broken soul or because you ‘were available’ – you have been a true gift because I experienced myself in relationship with another soul and the collective gloriousness that emerged had me really experience myself and another in our sacred value and worth. I’m a very very grateful person for that immeasurable gift.

So there you are, my experience of Love –  in all your magical ways. And there you go, smiling and shining your brightness on the next grateful souls.  My deepest wish is for you to know your value and to experience a love with another that richly nourishes you.