Words of WonderAdrift - Mark Nepo

Everything is beautiful and I am so sad.
This is how the heart makes a duet of
wonder and grief. The light spraying
through the lace of the fern is as delicate
as the fibers of memory forming their web
around the knot in my throat. The breeze
makes the birds move from branch to branch
as this ache makes me look for those I’ve lost
in the next room, in the next song, in the laugh
of the next stranger. In the very center, under
it all, what we have that no one can take
away and all that we’ve lost face each other.
It is there that I’m adrift, feeling punctured
by a holiness that exists inside everything.
I am so sad and everything is beautiful.

by Mark Nepo


This poem, by American spiritual writer and poet Mark Nepo, seems to gift me with a bunch of images, like a bunch of flowers, incredibly beautiful but already dying. Together the images describe something luminous, essential and heart breaking. By the end of the poem, it feels like my experience has been given voice in the most tender and accurate way. This is why I love to reread this particular poem and receive the bunch of flowers again each time.

These days my practice feels like it surfs the juxtaposition of impermanence and loss, with wonder and beauty a lot. In the coexistence of these two lies the sacredness of living. The holiness relies on the beauty and the impermanence coming as a coexistent duo. My heart is stretched, seasoned, shattered and growing by feeling this reality as true.

What gift does this poem give you?

Ps. If you’d like to turn towards the beauty, wonder and poignancy of your own life, check out our Wonder of the Everyday course. It begins in January giving you an opportunity to reimagine your unique and precious life as it is, rather than reaching for some other life and rejecting the one you have.

Photo by Emily Wang on Unsplash