audio projects

Inside the Miracle:




In 1987, poet Mark Nepo and his former wife, Ann Myers, were, like many mid-lifers, deeply involved with careers in progress and eyes confidently focused on the future. Life shifted drastically when first Ann and then Mark were diagnosed as having cancer. Acre of Light is the book of their profoundly moving journey through illness and the transformation of healing. In 1994, Mark recorded Acre of Light under the title, Inside the Miracle, as an audiotape in Parabola’s Audio Library, casting the work in a more immediate form, but especially making it available to those too tangled in their illness to read. The talented harpist, Therese Schroeder-Sheker, partnered, lending her gifts to the audiotape.


Letter Home

You ask if anything's changed.
I write this in an open boat
in the middle of a lake
which has been drawing me
to its secret for months.
I am becoming more like water
by the day. The slightest brace
of wind stirs me through.
I am more alive than ever.
What does that mean?
That in the beginning
I was awakened
as if a step behind,
always catching up,
as if waking in the middle
of some race that started
before I arrived, waking
to all these frantic strangers
hurrying me on,
as if landing in the middle
of some festival not knowing
what to celebrate, as if
someone genuine and beautiful
had offered to love me
just before I could hear
and now I must find them.
You ask if anything's changed.
I am drifting in the lake
and now it's a matter of slowing
so as not to pass it by.

You say I don't sound the same.
It's 'cause I think more like a fish
and only surface to eat.
I used to complain so much,
annoyed that every chore
would need to be done again,
that the grass would grow back
as soon as I'd cut it. Now
I am in awe how it will grow
no matter what you do to it.
How I need that knowledge.
You say I don't try as much with you.
It's 'cause you still behave
as if life is everywhere
but where you are
and I need new knowledge.

It has not all been pleasant.
One of us died the other day.
The last time I saw him,
we held hands through a park fence—
he was thin—but we held as if
the fence weren't there and as if
he were already on the other side.
Now I pray for him anyway, imagining
peace a lighter affair once gone
like pebbles sinking softly underwater.

I put my palm on the water's surface
lightly, not trying to hold any of it,
just feeling it push back.
You ask and I hesitate.
It seems everything has changed
when, in fact, it is only me.

I was closed so long, I thought
opening was breaking and in rare
broken moments I've seen now
how your secret is my secret
just swallowed at a different time
about a different face
with a different though equally
private name that brings it back,
too keenly, too deeply.

I write this in an open boat
where yards from me the heron
perched on turtle rock is spreading
its wings in the sun, holding
perfectly open and still,
the light filling, glazing its eye.
I am drifting here, heart spreading
like a heron's wing, more alive
than I thought possible.
You think me indifferent.
I want this for you
more than you can dream.
I am here. Drifting.
Come. Please. Swim.
If you can.

Living With The Wound

There is a need to be specific
if we are to survive,
which requires being honest,
the way seeing requires
the eyes to stay open.

It means I can tell you
when you hurt me
and still count on your love.

It means being honest
with myself, knowing
the ugly things are not
always someone else's.

I’ve been thinking how
practical people cut the cord
to those who've broken hope,
the way breeders shoot horses
with broken legs, as if
there's nothing to be done.

Now I know they do this
for themselves, not wanting
to care for a horse that cannot run,
not wanting to sit with a friend
who can't find tomorrow, not wanting
to be saddled with anything
that will slow them down.

I used to think it bad timing.
When I was up, you were down.
When you were ready,
I was scared. But since
we've never given up on each other,
it's clear that drinking wonder
when we're sad is how we shed
the things we love about pain.

I have a right to joy
even when lonely,
even when in pain,
and you need never
cover your wounds
when entering my house.

If your voice breaks, I'll be a cup.
If your heart sweats, I'll be a pillow
in which you'll chance to dream
that weeping is singing
through an instrument
that's hard to reach,
though it lands us like lightning
in the grasp of each other
where giving is a mirror
of all we cannot teach.



“A sensitive sharing of the truth. I recommend it highly.”
Bernie Siegel, M.D., author of Love, Medicine and Miracles

“This is a moving testament to the human spirit... with Therese Schroeder-Sheker’s hauntingly beautiful music.”
Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Wherever You Go, There You Are and Coming to Our Senses

“Inside the Miracle is about elegance of language and elegance of spirit. This is a wise and beautiful recording.”
Body, Mind, Spirit Magazine

Acre of Light and Inside the Miracle are nourishment for anyone’s soul regardless of their life circumstances. They explore the issues of living and of consciously surrendering and would be a good healing tool for helping those suffering from trauma or personal crisis. They would make a great gift as a set that can be experienced over and over again with new insight and personal reflection.”
Kate Dahlstedt, Pilgrimage

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