Pairing Down

Pairing Down September 4, 2023

When your mask cracks, 

you can repair it or pull 

it apart and feel how you 

were born. 


When the story you’ve 

relied on rips, you can stitch 

it back together or let it all 

unravel and ask quietly and 

fervently, “Who am I now?” 


And when your worldview 

shows its flaw, you can 

criticize everyone not like 

you or pull all thought back 

to the beginning and start 



Everything in nature covers 

itself, only to crack, peel, 

and shed. 


We are the only ones who 

think we have arrived. 


A Question to Walk With: Describe one way that you have cracked or peeled for your life’s experience and what such living has revealed to you. 


This is from my book of poems in progress, Suchness. 


You can follow Mark on Facebook and Instagram 

For more information about Mark’s books and upcoming events, visit and 

Information about his upcoming webinars, can be found at 


This is the first official event for Mark Nepo’s new book, Falling Down and Getting Up: Discovering Your Inner Resilience and Strength (St. Martin’s Essentials, September 6, 2023). Joining Mark is his publisher and editor, Joel Fotinos. We hope you enjoy!  (web link) 


Sept 8-10: Mercy by the Sea, Madison, CT, Falling Down and Getting Up: The Practices That Keep Us Human. (web link) 

Sept 15-17: The Sophia Institute, Charleston, SC, Falling Down and Getting Up — Discovering your Inner Resilience and Strength. (web link) 

Nov 9-12: Santa Sabina Center, San Rafael, CA, Four-Day Retreat, Surviving Storms: Finding the Strength to Meet Adversity. (web link) 

Jan 7-13, 2024: Global Journeys, Guanacaste Costa Rica, Saying Yes to Life: The One Life We’re Given — A Weeklong Retreat. (web link ) 

Feb 5-10, 2024: Modern Elder Academy, Baja, Mexico, Falling Down and Getting Up: Discovering Your Own Resilience and Strength (web link) 

"I'm not at all sure that we are all talking about the same thing when ..."

The Inner Critic
"that made me laugh. his own wound ruined his momentff.LAURENS.CLUB\v5963pw"

Imparting Bliss
"Monet was nearsighted and painted what he saw."

Stacks of Wheat

Browse Our Archives