As Far As the Heart Can See: Stories to Illuminate the Soul
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Since everything is sacred, staying close to what is sacred is a matter of presence and attention more than travel to some secret place. In essence, staying close is a pilgrimage to the heart of where we are. Since it is we who lose our directness of living, our task is often to restore that freshness of being alive.
Stories help us. They are teachers. They are medicine. They keep us connected to what matters. They keep us awake. This has always been true. And so, As Far As the Heart Can See is a book of stories and parables about staying awake and staying close. Each story has a life of its own that simply used me to become known again in the world. And each has some residue of my life on earth, for no story can come through without some taste of the teller.
This book then is an invitation to be in relationship with deep and life-giving material. The stories gathered here carry seeds of our humanness. They delve into the courage to listen to your own life, the gift of vulnerability, the willingness to experiment and explore your own voice, the abiding commitment to respect your own journey and the journeys of others, and the life skill of working with what we are given. No experience is required, just a Beginner’s Mind and Heart. And the willingness to hear one story and tell another. A willingness to keep listening and trying.
On the day of the race, he waited with the others and felt that life
was waiting in the hills. He couldn’t quite say why, but a blessing
was about to happen. As the gun went off, he could hear the rush of all
the racers breathing—like young horses in the morning.
KEEPING THE DISH ALIVE
Whenever he’d travel to Lansing, Don would go to a Middle Eastern
restaurant he’d stumbled into years ago. He loved their Kibbe Nyah,
a dish of freshly ground lamb mixed with herbs and olive oil, seasoned
but uncooked. One day, it was off the menu, and Don spoke to the owner,
Abu, who said it wasn’t worth it. Too few people ordered it. But
Don said it was exquisite and pleaded with Abu that the dish shouldn’t
be lost. Abu said, “You call before you come, and I’ll make
it for you.” So whenever Don would go to Lansing, two or three times
a year, he’d call Abu and remind him, “My name is Don. I’m
the one who—” But Abu always remembered him, “Yes! Yes!
Kibbe Nyah. How are you? Come. I will make it for you.” Each time
Don would try to tip Abu or pay him extra, but Abu refused, “No.
No. Together we keep the dish alive.”
Nepo is a consummate storyteller with a rare gift for making the invisible visible.
Nepo’s work as a poet shines through in his writing.
Nepo’s tone is intelligently lyrical, with the rich conciseness of Haiku.
Mark Nepo is a… master of metaphor (who) has assembled a collection
of soulful stories that go straight to the heart. Poignant and poetic,
As Far as the Heart Can See illuminates the soul so that we can find
our way home.
This book is like a door that opens only one way. When you open it, you become
more than you were, and there is no going back. These stories will free you
to move closer to your own dream of yourself and live more authentically,
more joyfully, and more passionately than before. More than just a book,
As Far As the Heart Can See is an exquisitely written invitation to live
your real life.
As Far as the Heart Can See is a tonic for the spirit, a series of revelations
by way of a series of far-ranging stories as told by Mark Nepo, as only
he can tell them: heartfully, honestly, and humbly. Read this book and
see how much farther you can see.
What happens when a poet writes a book of stories about how to live, how
to love, how to heal and grow and find our distinct purpose? Here’s
what happened for me when I read Mark Nepo’s As Far As the Heart
Can See: Each word became a stepping stone on a path through the woods.
And not only that: a host of helpers, teachers, cheerleaders, and friends
popped off the pages of this charming and wise book to lead me out of the
stuck places and into freedom.
As Far As the Heart Can See is filled with stories and guided reflections
that not only make us think about life but feel more connected to it. This
book can help you access your inner wisdom and caring heart.?
Part poetry, part spiritual narrative, As Far as the Heart Can See offers
us a grounded experience of life seen through a spiritual lens. Mark Nepo
invites us into a sheesh mahal—a palace of mirrors—where the
soul sits on its immortal throne, sparkling like the Kohinoor diamond.
Each narrative touches a unique facet of life and draws the reader into
reflection—oh soul, look into the mirror of your heart and see with
love. See the whole being, the visible and the invisible; the image and
the reality; the shadow and the light. This precious book places truth
in the core of the heart and shows how pure feelings set it free.
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