A Cappella

A Cappella April 15, 2024

In the middle of the war, a red
poppy trembled in the rubble. It
made him put his gun down and
stop. He had entered the eye of
battle and knelt before the poppy,
bullets whizzing, thinking, if
we could just lie down with the

And in the middle of the hunt,
the old hunter saw the fox before
anyone else, staring at him in a
long patch of light. But he
couldn’t shoot it because he
suddenly wanted to be the fox.

And in the middle of the divorce,
the broken man saw all he loved
in his broken wife and slouched
before the lawyers, uttering, “I’ve
made a mess of everything. She
can have it all.”

These are not breakdowns,
but breakthroughs. Like sun
through clouds warming the
stone back into a heart.


A Question to Walk With: Describe a breakdown in your life that turned out to be a breakthrough.

This excerpt is from my book of poems in progress, This Slow Quick Dance.

Mark will be offering retreats and a few special journeys in 2024. Below are some of his offerings: 

April 26-28: Saying Yes to Life: From Brokenness to Tenderness, reading and weekend retreat, The Sophia Institute, Charleston, SC, or call 843-720-8528

May 6: Drinking from the River of Light, Talk on the Creative Process, The Gilmore Festival, Kalamazoo Public Library Central Branch, VanDeusen Room | 2 pm

May 18–24, 2024 The Gift of Deepening and the Radiance in All Things, a weeklong retreat on a river cruise in France hosted by Global Journeys

June 28-30: Falling Down and Getting Up: Discovering Your Inner Resilience and Strength, weekend retreat, Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY

Aug 16-18: You Don’t Have to Do It Alone: The Net of Friendship, weekend retreat, Mercy By the Sea, 167 Neck Rd, Madison

Sept 16–21, 2024 You Don’t Have to Do It Alone: The Power of Friendship, a Mastery Week Retreat at the Modern Elder Academy in Santa Fe, Mexico, .

Sept 29 1pm PT/4pm ET: Mark Nepo in Conversation with Brooke Warner – You Don’t Have to Do It Alone, ticketed event hosted by Book Passage

Nov 1-3: Harmony Hill Retreat Center, You Don’t Have to Do It Alone: The Net of Friendship weekend retreat, Union WA, Contact Harmony Hill for info: https://www.harmonyhill.org/contact-connections/

Dec 8–14,  Saying Yes to Life: The One Life We’re Given, a weeklong retreat in Costa Rica, hosted by Global Journeys

"Hi Karl, I enjoyed this very much……..I mean, granted I am not sure I understand ..."

At Gate 3 in August
"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

Browse Our Archives