Pain and Glow

Pain and Glow April 10, 2023

We have shed many skins, 

always working toward some 

uncovered state: below opinion, 

below expectation, even below 

the exhilaration of a dream. 

All to accept that shedding is 

a way of life. Going out builds

up. Going in takes off. And we

go on. Despite the pain of taking 

off, we want the glow of being to 

last a bit longer. And we go on. 

Now I see that this is how the 

Universe renews itself: by build- 

ing up and taking off. There is 

no other way. Pain and Glow. 

And we go on. Like a crab 

inching from its shell. Like 

a bird molting its feathers. 

Like an enduring self leav- 

ing everyone’s judgments 

on the side of the road. 


From The Half-Life of Angels


*Photo by Jessica Noe

Check out Mark’s Events page at for Mark’s upcoming in-person and online events.


APRIL 13: A free publication reading and conversation by Mark Nepo, to celebrate the publication of, The Half-Life of Angels: Three Books of Poems at the Kalamazoo College Library,Hicks Center 7-9PM 


MAY 5-7: Reading and Weekend Retreat, The Gift of Relationship, The Sophia Institute, Charleston, SC, or call 843-720-8528. Registration details here. 


July 9, 16 & 23: You Don’t Have to Do It Along: The Net of Friendship. A 3-session virtual webinar guided by Mark Nepo 1-2:30pm ET/10-11:30am PT. Details at



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