This poem by Mark Nepo spent a long afternoon in my soul today. It spoke to me so profoundly; I was able to find my own soul’s story in each verse. Let’s see if it might find a home in you. Read the poem slowly—pausing to find yourself in the words.
I was at the window
when a fly near the latch
was on its back spinning—
legs furious, going nowhere.
I thought to swat it
but something in its struggle
was too much my own.
It kept spinning and began to tire,
without moving closer, I exhaled
steadily, my breath a sudden wind.
and the fly found its legs,
rubbed its face and flew away.
I continued to stare at the latch
Hoping that someday, the breath
of something incomprehensible
would right me and
enable me to fly.
-Poem by Mark Nepo
taken from The Way Under the Way
How well I relate to the momentary desire to get rid of the little bothersome things that get in my way. If only, with purposeful practice, I might become aware that the struggle of little things to endure is similar to my own efforts at survival.
Is it possible for me to awaken from my daily slumber long enough to reflect on the many ways my struggle is akin to the anguish of others?
And the best question of all: Might I remember my breath in time to save others who are on the verge of losing hope?
And then, to stare at the latch REMEMBERING your experience is no small practice.