September 8 – Outlasting the Fog – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

“To be near something beautiful or precious but to be unable to experience it, is the subtlest form of torture.” Robert Johnson

We all have these moments when the rose loses its colour for some reason, or the music no longer stirs us, or the sweet, gentle soul across from us no longer seems to soften our heart.

To move in and out of meaning is as natural as moving in and out of light because clouds form and dissipate. It becomes torture, through, when we believe that the rose is no longer colourful, or that the music is no longer stirring, or, worst of all, when we conclude that the person across from us is no longer gentle or sweet.

In truth, worse than not seeing at all is seeing but not being touched by what we see. Certainly, things and people change – the simpatico of our needs can shift – but we have no chance of recognizing real change or loss if we cannot recognize and accept our inability at times to feel what we see.

Often, the emotional tragedies of life begin when we rearrange our lives – changing partners, religions, and jobs – in an effort to find a sense of meaning that is sleeping numbly within us.

It reminds me of a man who built a home on a cliff by the sea, only to have a month-long fog roll in. He cursed the place and moved away, but a week after he’d gone, the fog cleared. Being human, we all have fogs roll in around our heart, and often, our lives depend on the quiet courage to wait for them to clear.

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