Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Outlasting the Fog

--by Mark Nepo (Sep 24, 2007)

We all have these moments when the rose loses it color for some reason, or the music no longer stirs us, or the sweet, gentle soul across from us no longer seems to soften our heart.

To move in and out meaning is as natural as moving in and out of light because clouds form and dissipate. It becomes torture, though, when we believe that the rose is no longer colorful, or that music is no longer stirring, or worst of all, when we conclude that the person across from us is no longer gentle or sweet.

In truth, worse than not seeing at all is seeing but not being touched by what we see. Certainly, things and people change -- the simpatico of our needs can shift -- but we have no chance of recognizing real change or loss if we cannot recognize and accept our inability at times to feel what we see.

Often, the emotional tragedies of life begin when we rearrange our lives -- changing partners, religions, and jobs -- in an effort to find a sense of meaning that is sleeping numbly within us.

It reminds me of a man who built a home on a cliff by sea, only to have a month-long fog roll in. He cursed the place and moved away, but a week after he'd gone, the fog cleared. Being human, we all have fogs roll in around our heart, and often, our lives depend on the quiet courage to wait for them to clear.

--Mark Nepo

Add Your Reflection:

Send me an email when another comment is posted on this passage.
Name: Email:

9 Previous Reflections:

On Nov 3, 2007 Bhupinder wrote:
It's soul touching but in reality even if will power to face the fog is there.. other people their in your life at times who are part n parcel of every decsion are also to be considered.
one cannot live or exist in isolation.

On Sep 25, 2007 Darshni wrote:
I agree with Anoop... well said.

On Sep 25, 2007 Patty Silver wrote:
Thank you so much for this post... I really needed to read this and be reminded. Blessings...

On Sep 25, 2007 anoop wrote:
I don't think we should sit around waiting for the fog to lift or we will wait an entire lifetime. There is always some fog or the other in our lives. The key is to realize and rectify the aversion that the mind feels to the fog and learn to enjoy it as it is.

On Sep 25, 2007 Sonali Fiske wrote:
Within a given day, I find my heart shifting as this passage relates. Moments of euphoric joy, heartrending compassion, & empathy, splintered by pieces of indifference. I have always struggled with a consistent balance of a shift in the tide & remaining open-hearted.

On Sep 25, 2007 vicki wrote:
The fact that I go through periods of slump are now a reminder that I'm living well and the fog will lift.When it comes I try to remember the joy of little things and the gift of waiting.Even the dark hours are a gift so I can truely value the light.

On Sep 25, 2007 supun wrote:
I remember being very depressed while I was in college. For no reason that was apparent to me, everything was bland. Everything was negative and I was negative towards everything. It took a lot of stubborness and a bit of courage to tell myself that I had to drop out. After many months of feeling crappy and like I wanted to memorize tomorrow and live in yesterday. But then there was a yearning in me not to become one of those people that always talked about what I could've been or what I should've done. I met 2 incredible people randomly and it made me feel alive again. I found a great job where I could meet lots of cool people. Then I started to realize what I needed to do to improve myself. I'm still relatively depressed, but I think I'm back to a more natural balance with myself. I do know everybody goes through this to some degree.

On Sep 25, 2007 Jayant Giri wrote:
What we see is governed by our viewpoint. A particular scene/object/event is seen differently by different people and also the change is brought about by time.At a particular moment of time the meaning of what was earlier may change altogether.Thus change is the essence and we cannot avoid it but adjust to it and be happy.

On Sep 24, 2007 Rowena Cabaliza wrote:
"It is only through the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye" as once said by the Little Prince. There are so many gained material things that are fleeting and just a few genuine feelings that should be sustained in moments of loss.