04/16/2013 01:09 pm ET Updated Jun 16, 2013

Near the Light

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Sometimes, in the midst of working through frustrations, it's possible to glimpse the truth that, though I'm frustrated, not everything is frustrating. Sometimes, in the midst of sadness, it's possible to glimpse that, though I'm sad, not everything is sad. This poem came upon me while in such a mood.

Near the Light

I'm saved by what is timeless.
Can taste it though it fills no cup.
Can feel it though it can't be seen.

Yesterday, an old brooding song was
sung low, making the afternoon drop
its shoulders. Even the wind circled
back. I dropped my napkin, glad to
feel that old ache waiting like a lucky
coin I rub but seldom look at. Every-
one broods and holds on to what they
think is lucky.

I'm saved by your laugh, which stops the
crows of pleasure and pain from pecking
at each other inside my head.

This morning I tried three times to read
something I've wanted to read for years.
But you were sick and the car broke
down. And waiting for the tow truck,
I stood in the shade of a locust tree.
The patches of sun reminded me
that we've already arrived.

A Question to Walk With: Identify a mood of frustration or sadness that you are currently struggling with. Without denying or minimizing your frustration or sadness, let your mind and heart open beyond your struggle and describe, if you can, life around you that is not frustrating or sad. What does it feel like to allow both to take up space in your mind and heart at the same time?

For more by Mark Nepo, click here.

For more Poetry for the Soul, click here.

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