Finding Birdsong

Nepo_1by Mark Nepo

This chapter, from my new book, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen, speaks to the slow conversation that takes place over time between the spirit and the body. For me, that conversation goes back almost twenty-five years to the heart of my cancer journey. These learnings reflect more recent challenges. Gratefully, I am well and growing. After all this way, I can bear witness to a mysterious truth that life has given me: that we are stronger, gentler, more resilient, and more beautiful than we imagine, and that the resource we call life is never far away. I know this because every time my heart has been broken or shattered, I have felt certain it could never be put back together. And every time, without exception, not only has my heart mended but it has become larger, stronger, and more loving for the breaking. The mysterious and unfailing journey of how this happens is the ordinary art of staying awake and it involves the deep and continuous act of being present in all ways in all directions, which is the practice of holding nothing back.

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Artwork Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons