Sometimes we seek refuge from our pain in the habits of life, as if sheer routine can put our wounds to sleep. But the habits of life can make us all a little squirrelly, and soon enough, we don’t want our little nest messed with. We don’t want anything unexpected or different to disrupt the little box we live in. We don’t want anything to unearth the pains we’ve buried. And just about the time we’re most inflexible, some great wave of love or suffering crashes over our little box, opening us to the unalterable fact that all the little boxes we construct are tiresome illusions. There is only one home, only one sea in which we all swim. That home is the common, eternal heart we are all a part of. I’ve always found more comfort and strength in that common sea than in all the habits I surround myself with.
Surviving the Great Wave of love or suffering is how we begin to make our way. Once tossed about by life, we seek out those who speak the language of the Great Wave. Then we greet each other with offerings of truth and compassion: Was the Great Wave kind or harsh? What did it break down or open in you? What did it give you or take away? What have you chosen to rebuild with? Who did you reach out to? Who showed up? Who ran away? Who keeps muffling the questions? Who wants to know what you see?
A Question to Walk With: What is your relationship to The Great Wave?
Last month, Sounds True published a major collection of my poetry, The Way Under the Way, which contains three separate books of poetry, gathering 217 poems retrieved and shaped over the past twenty years. These poems span my life’s journey and they center on the place of true meeting that is always near, where we chance to discover our shared humanity and common thread of Spirit. The above poem is from the book.
For more poetry for the soul, click here.
For more by Mark Nepo, click here.