Monday, February 29, 2016

Between the Lines: Mark Nepo's Miracle

by Zinta Aistars
for WMUK 102.1 FM
Southwest Michigan's NPR affiliate

Between the Lines is my weekly radio show about books and writers with a Michigan connection. It airs every Tuesday at 7:50 a.m., 11:55 a.m., and 4:20 p.m. (or listen anytime online), on WMUK 102.1 FM, Southwest Michigan's NPR affiliate. I am the host of Between the Lines.

This week's guests: Mark Nepo 

Mark Nepo (Photo by Michelle Gossman)

Almost thirty years ago, philosopher and poet Mark Nepo nearly lost his life in a battle with cancer. It changed him forever. In his new book Inside the Miracle: Enduring Suffering, Approaching Wholeness, Nepo shares the lessons he learned through his ordeal.

“This experience unraveled the way I see the world,” Nepo says. “It scoured my lens of perception, landing me in a deeper sense of living. That struggle brought me close to death. Today, I remain committed to surfacing the lessons of transformation, as they continue to shape the lens that life has given me. The transformative events may differ for each of us, but every soul will face a life-changing threshold that will keep shaping who we are for the rest of our life.”

Inside the Miracle is a collection of poems and prose, including essays. Some are from Nepo’s earlier works but many are new. Nepo sometimes refers to the collection as a “survival kit” for readers living through some form of suffering, physical or emotional, and in need of healing.
“What I’ve endured is the journey that everyone endures in different circumstances and with different names,” Nepo says. “Sooner or later, we’re asked to be honest with our fears and hopes. After all this way, I know that I am weak and strong, stubborn and determined, afraid and brave, giving and demanding, resilient and stalled, confused and clear—sometimes all at once. I know now that going on without denying any aspect of the human drama is what strength is all about. Joy is the transformation of our suffering, not the escape of all we have to face.”
Nepo says another aspect of suffering is ...

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