For any of you who have been reading me for a while, you know that Mark Nepo‘s writing has had a profound impact on me. All you have to do is search “Mark Nepo” on this blog and see the many, many posts where I reference his words.
Last night I got to meet him.
I don’t even know how to express how I feel except to say, my heart is full. I sat in the front row with my sister and took it all in. He read from his newest book, shared yet-to-be-published poems, and dialogued with the audience. He was just as I pictured him- bright eyes, easy smile, welcoming demeanor.
I brought my battered copy of The Book of Awakening to have him sign. When I got up to the table I put the tattered book in front of him saying, “here is my well-loved copy” and we both smiled. I told him that his work changed how I see the world and thanked him for that. We hugged. Maybe it went down differently than that but that’s how I recall it. It kind of scrambles the mind to meet your emotional guru.
Here’s a favorite poem of his for you:
Let no one keep you from your journey,
no rabbi or priest, no mother
who wants you to dig for treasures
she misplaced, no father
who won’t let one life be enough,
no lover who measures their worth
by what you might give up,
no voice that tells you in the night
it can’t be done.
Let nothing dissuade you
from seeing what you see
or feeling the winds that make you
want to dance alone
or go where no one
has yet to go.
You are the only explorer.
Your heart, the unreadable compass.
Your soul, the shore of a promise
too great to be ignored.