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From Here to Here

After this year's retreat with a men's group, I felt each of them so deeply that I had to pull over on the highway and write this poem.
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I'm blessed to be part of a mens' group that has been meeting for eight years. We've become very close. One of us, Don, describes our closeness this way, "I am living in a trust that now deeply shapes my life." Once a year, we have a retreat together. After this year's retreat, I felt each of them so deeply that I had to pull over on the highway and write this poem.

From Here to Here

I'm listening to you speak of your pain
and what it's saying to you. As my heart
aches the way a tree splits. And in the split,
I realize that an entire life--decades, a century
if blessed--all of it is a blink in the eye of the
Many-Named God who gifts us great love and
suffering, so that in the split and ache that stuns
us, we might know the full length of time and
how effort turns to grace: in the curl of a wave,
in the flap of a wing, in the first breath of a
child no one expected, in the last breath of
someone who saved us from ourselves, in the
dissolution of the clouds that mute our wonder.
And in that holy pause of heart, life starts again.
I'm listening with no way to convey how beauty-
fully ordinary we are. I just know, when bearing
witness this tenderly, everything matters. Impos-
sible as it seems, we fall like water from here
to here, giving our selves to everything
along the way.

A Question to Walk With: In what way does life stun you? Who do you share this stark beauty with?

For more poetry for the soul, click here.

For more by Mark Nepo, click here.