Sometimes, after she falls and before
she gets up, she takes a deep breath.
And in those moments, she stares
briefly into the Center of Things.
It calms her. For in those moments,
she drinks from something older than
her life. Other times, the same thing
happens when reading a passage from
a book that opens her heart. Or when
hearing that lift in a song that makes
her think of looking at the stars as
a little girl. She never knows how to
speak of these openings. It’s as if
the still point of her life rests on
the bottom of all trouble like a
weighted pearl. And an invisible
string ties it to her heart. And
every once in a while, the pearl
of life tugs at her heart, forcing
her to fall and remember that
there is nowhere to go.

A Question to Walk With: In conversation with a friend or loved one, describe your own firsthand experience of how being stopped opened you to more than just your life.

This excerpt is from my book of poems, The Tone in the Center of the Bell.

The Life of Expression: Finding Your Voice, Mark Nepo’s new 3-session webinar starting June 13, will center on the lifelong process of listening, reflecting, and expressing, and on how bearing witness to the truth of living reveals the mysteries of life. For more information or to register, visit: