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.