THE BLOG
03/03/2014 04:33 pm ET | Updated May 03, 2014

The Dilation of What Seems Ordinary

To dilate means to widen or open more fully and the purpose of experience, both through ease and pain, is to widen and open us more fully. The normal way we meet the world is full of bumps and bruises and noise that scratches up the heart. And yet, if we can endure and lean in, we are widened and opened to a depth that weaves the tissue of the Universe together.

The Dilation of What Seems Ordinary

Just now, it happened again. My defenses were down, my memory machine asleep, my dream machine tired, and so the mystery -- which is always beaming in all directions -- made it through. And the moment of clarity it releases is always like a return from amnesia. So this is what it means to be a person, how could I forget: To be alive, to look out from these small canyons called eyes, to receive light from the sun off the water and feel it shimmer on the common water that fills my heart. To listen to the silence waiting under our stories, long enough that all the vanished words said over time simmer up in a scent that, for a second, makes me feel journeys that are not mine. Till I surface before you with a stumbled sense of happiness. Not because I'm any closer to what I want, or even know what I want. But because in the flood of all that is living, I am electrified -- the way a muscle dreams under the skin of lifting whatever needs to be lifted.


A Question to Walk With: What does it mean to you, to be a person? Ask this question of someone you'd like to know better.

For more poetry for the soul, click here.

For more by Mark Nepo, click here.