THE BLOG
11/28/2016 12:37 pm ET Updated Nov 29, 2017

Accepting This

Yes, it is true. I confess,
I have thought great thoughts,
and sung great songs--all of it
rehearsal for the majesty
of being held.

The dream is awakened
when thinking I love you
and life begins
when saying I love you
and joy moves like blood
when embracing others with love.

My efforts now turn
from trying to outrun suffering
to accepting love wherever
I can find it.

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're 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.

A Question to Walk With: In your view, what does the paradox in the last stanza mean?

This month, Sounds True published a major collection of my poetry, The Way Under the Way, which contains three separate books of poetry, gathering 217 poems retrieved and shaped over the past twenty years. These poems span my life's journey and they center on the place of true meeting that is always near, where we chance to discover our shared humanity and common thread of Spirit. The above poem is from the book.

For more poetry for the soul, click here.

For more by Mark Nepo, click here.