it’s hard to bow to the vastness of the sea when being pulled under

I was walking our dog during the pandemic, the neighborhood empty, the clouds heavy, and, through my headphones, the music of a man now gone, the love from his soul helping me keep my head above water. And though it’s hard to bow to the vastness of the sea when being pulled under, hard to believe in the merit of light when lost in the dark, hard to wait on love when painfully lonely—these larger truths never stop being true. Even as I voice this, someone is dying in the hall of an overcrowded hospital, while another is lifted from their own hell by the grace of a kindness no one saw coming. As if the spirit of the one dying arrives like pollen in the heart of the one stuck in hell, giving them just enough to begin again. If we could only give the extra warmth we receive to someone who is shivering. If we could shed the masks that keep us from ourselves, there would be enough to save the world.

~ Mark Nepo, “Sheltered-in-Place” (FB, April 5, 2020)


Notes: Photo – Axios. Quote: Thank you Make Believe Boutique. Inspired by Ray’s post: It’s all about Perspective

Comments

  1. So overwhelming. The numbers for you in NY and the US must feel like you are being pulled under. 😢

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this, DK.
    I was out for a couple of hours yesterday. It does hit real hard when you’re out there. Post office, then grocery store, then sitting outside in the rain disinfecting everything before coming in. This was the third time I go out in 4 weeks. It brings back dark memories of being stuck in Kuwait for months after the Iraqi invasion. Except,and I don’t understand why, this feels much worse.

    I’ll hold on to these words,
    “If we could only give the extra warmth we receive to someone who is shivering. If we could shed the masks that keep us from ourselves, there would be enough to save the world.”

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Beautifully said, those contrasts that exist simultaneously. All the world watching, waiting, some in the thick of it actioning, some leaving, not able to say goodbye. 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s it Claire. Your thoughts remind me of

      “At each farewell the question not asked is always there: Will I see you again? …

      What had precluded me from asking is this: Perhaps I won’t see you again, and if so, goodbye for now and goodbye forever.”

      ~ Yiyun Li, Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life (Random House, February 21st 2017)

      Liked by 3 people

  4. This is the kind of powerful that grabs your breath before you’re ready…

    Liked by 3 people

  5. poignant and tragic

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have read that yesterday and now I wonder where….. We certainly move in the same circle of friends and share the same interests…. I was so touched yesterday by these words that I couldn’t find words… I still can’t.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Moved. I have been struggling mightily to focus on the silver linings of these past several weeks…the acts of selflessness shown by a multitude of healthcare workers, the kindness of neighbor to neighbor, the succor offered by Mother Nature in the midst of so much ugliness and terror. Must commit to focusing on the positive….

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes. Exactly. Yes.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lori, your confession surprises me. I feel you as someone positive, one who sees the beauty and good in everything/-body….. 😉 I DO think that you are, in your inner self, a thankful human being, as shines through in your mails, comments. Don’t be too harsh on yourself!

      Liked by 2 people

      • I am most definitely a positive person, Kiki, and do strive to see the good in everyone. But I would be lying if I didn’t confess that lately it’s been more difficult than usual. The selfishness and malfeasance of some is terribly disheartening, but balanced, as I mentioned, by the generosity of spirit shown by many others. My struggles lie in focusing on the good rather than being drug down by the bad… hugs to you…😘

        Liked by 4 people

  8. My words are not eloquent or inspiring but my heart is softened by this point on description of our universal angst.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Our collective reality … Please, read ALL of it!!
    “As if the spirit of the one dying arrives like pollen in the heart of the one stuck in hell, giving them just enough to begin again. If we could only give the extra warmth we receive to someone who is shivering. If we could shed the masks that keep us from ourselves, there would be enough to save the world.”
    Mark Nepo, “Sheltered-in-Place” (FB, April 5, 2020)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. loving kindness 😌💕🌷💕

    Like

  11. Ahhh… Mark Nepo. Thank you.

    It is Lori’s comment that resonates so deeply within me as I too struggle with the ‘all’ of it all. The dark and the light. The beauty and the beastly.
    — There will come a time when we will look back on these times and say, “Before Covid..” and we’ll name things we did that no longer fit our lives and our world “After Covid” we no longer do them.
    My prayer is that the ‘before Covid’ things include intolerance of one another, cruelty, greed, abuse, discrimination, … and the ‘after Covid’ — oh it is here that we will find ourselves consumed with love for one another, kindness, grace, generosity of spirit. It is here that our human condition will rise up and shine.
    But, before we get to the ‘after Covid’ we must go through these times. Some days feel easier. Some, I want to stay in bed. Always, I want to share the best of me – somedays I’m not sure what the best is.
    In the ‘during Covid’ times we must all find the best of ourselves to get through these times with grace. And that’s when I feel the sadness and heaviness of these times, when I realize the best of someone else is challenging me to let go of my judgements and find my compassion for our shared human condition.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. like Renkl, i’m becoming a big fam of Nepo. Thx David.
    Heres my little story.
    http://srevestories.blogspot.com/2020/04/bulletholes-takes-walk.html

    Liked by 3 people

  13. A little kindness, understanding and sharing goes a long way. May we continue such practices long before another tragic event compels us so. The world will then be more as intended from the start before we derailed it by self interest.
    -Alan

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The Queen said …we will meet again.”
    I believe Her Majesty. Only her…
    God save the Queen.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This is a time to feel more fully and reach more deeply. Mark Nepo is a wonderful guide. Thank you David for sharing this.
    So much turbulence externally … can give us the opportunity to pay attention to the peace and wonder of nature and Spring. It goes on without our agitation and external worry. In our journey, we can chose where the mind focuses. ( and turn off the breaking news alerts!)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. A poignant title. Yes, on “these larger truths.” Prose that reads like poetry. Unfortunately, non-fiction. Thanks for sharing this, David.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Valerie Meluskey says:

    Inspiring and helpful… Reflecting on “the music of a man now gone, the love from his soul” –this is so true of most music! [from John Lennon to Bob Dylan to Beethoven to Mozart, etc…]

    Liked by 1 person

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