October 2 – The Red Kingdom – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

“I’ve never felt a pain that didn’t bear a blessing.” Gene Knudson Hoffman 

I know this to be true. From broken marriages, to losing a rib to cancer, to being laid off after eighteen years of teaching, there has always been a gift waiting once the ache and fear and grief have settled.

To be clear, it is not the disease or injustice that is a blessing. Though I am grateful for how my life has forever changed for experiencing cancer, I would not wish cancer on anyone.

But, as cries are absorbed into silence, as the sun always rises just when the night seems like it will never end, as the sky holds everything flying and everything falling, there is something indestructible at the centre of each of us; though the pain of being transformed and rearranged while still alive often feels unbearable.

Even as a boy, I cut my finger open with an X-Acto knife—I still carry the scar—and after crying and stomping around, I marveled to see the red kingdom within for the very first time.

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