Next week, Sounds True will publish a new, expanded edition of Inside the Miracle: Enduring Suffering, Approaching Wholeness, which gathers twenty-eight years of my writing and teaching about suffering, healing, and wholeness, including thirty-nine new poems and prose pieces not yet published. One of the great transforming passages in my life was having cancer in my mid-thirties. This experience unraveled the way I see the world and made me a student of all spiritual paths. With a steadfast belief in our aliveness, I hope what’s in this book will help you meet the transformation that waits in however you’re being forged. The following piece is an excerpt from the book.
IN THE SKY OF HEART
It’s late in the afternoon and I’m
backed up in traffic, aching for my
father and our dog, both gone, when
the sun comes through, and there, above
us, a shelf of clouds shaped like an island
edged by a waterfall. So real, I can al-
most hear the rush of water falling
into eternity. This mythic island in
the sky stands by itself, beckoning.
And I understand why early people
overwhelmed with survival might
look up and believe that gods live
in the sky. I am no different, as I
outwait the clouds of our trouble.
Someone is honking. But something
stirs within and I want to put the car
in park and walk into the sky, to sit
by the waterfall of time falling into
everything. I think it’s where we all
go when the light turns green and
the tires turn to wings and the steer-
ing wheels open into flowers. I think
I hear my father throwing sticks to
our dog at the bottom of the water-
fall. Someone else is honking.
It’s hard to go anywhere.
A Question to Walk With: In conversation with a friend or loved one, describe the impact and presence of someone you have lost.