“A Nameless Ritual” by Mark Nepo

A Nameless Ritual

with, feel that something is missing, and try to

forget that you are empty, by reading hundred-

year-old novels, or planting dozens of bulbs, or

you can try to fix what you see as broken in others

until they call you kind, or you can look into the

hidden gears of the world until others think you

intelligent, and when nothing reaches you, you

can run into things until old ways crack, or you

can dive into your past till you catch what’s been

eating at your heart, and once seizing it, you can

slowly and painfully bring it up until your fear

unfurls like a flag snapping and when all goes

limp, you might feel some spot of peace that’s

been waiting beneath your name, and then you

can secretly feel the pain of wanting to be touched

by everything, and not being touched feel lost, and

being touched feel found, and not being touched

feel lonely, and being touched feel there might be

such a thing as joy, and then, something like a

quiet thirst might make you climb higher than allobstacle until, with your arms to the wind, the

features you’ve been known by wear away and,

smelling the fumes of your birth, you might

risk that all thoughts are clouds and burn

them away with the heat of your being.  

A Question to Walk With: Describe the relationship between your searching and your being. How does looking for things affect you and how does accepting affect you?

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