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:

Breaking Surface

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.


11 thoughts on “Resounding

  1. I’m pretty sure if I were on a self-improvement journey the way you’ve been for as long as I know you, that poem would have a profound impact on my life, too. I’d probably read it every night before bed and every morning when I awake. So cool you got to meet him!

  2. I felt the same way when I got to meet Sylvia Browne but I didn’t get to hug her. I did get picked to have her answer a question for me and it was a time when my only child was in a serious spiral downward and I needed to know he would be okay and she told me he would. That was the best I had felt that whole year. I am glad you got you meet yours too.

  3. I really, really needed to read that today, so thank YOU for that.

    So cool you got to meet someone you’ve respected for so long.

  4. I love Mark Nepo too – his Book of Awakening has helped me through so much and his Exquisite Risk has taught me so much about living authentically. Glad you got to meet him.

  5. Just wanted to let you know I was looking for something to start off a group I was leading last week and I came across Breaking Surface on your website. It was a great fit for what we were talking about that night – empowerment & assertiveness. So thanks…

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