Philosopher-poet and cancer survivor, Mark Nepo opens a new season of freedom and joy–an escape from deadening, asleep-at-the wheel sameness–that is both profound and clarifying. His spiritual daybook is a summons to reclaim aliveness, liberate the self, take each day one at a time, and to savor the beauty offered by life’s unfolding. Reading his poetic prose is like being given second sight, exposing the reader to life’s multiple dimensions, each one drawn with awe and affection. The Book of Awakening is the result of his journey of the soul and will inspire others to embark on their own. Nepo speaks of spirit and friendship, urging readers to stay vital and in love with this life, no matter the hardships. Encompassing many traditions and voices, Nepo’s words offer insight on pain, wonder, and love. Each entry is accompanied by an exercise that will surprise and delight the reader in its mind-waking ability.
The time when we walk in the shadow of death is, ironically, a time when we feel illuminated by life’s true meaning. Poet and philosopher Mark Nepo has firsthand experience with this mystery–he had cancer. During his arduous recovery, he sought inspiration and guidance that would reflect his growing appreciation of life. Although this daybook is exactly what Nepo longed for as he struggled with a difficult disease, , it can be appreciated by all readers.
This collection of essays, one for every day from January 1 through December 30, offers a poet’s sensibility and sensuality and gives the reader Nepo’s well-harvested wisdom. “Water reflects everything it encounters,” Nepo writes in a May 5 essay. “This is so commonplace that we think water is blue, when in fact it has no color…. But the water, the glorious water everywhere, has taught me that we are more than what we reflect or love. This is the work of compassion: to embrace everything clearly without imposing who we are and without losing who we are.” After each entry, Nepo offers a short list of suggestions or questions to help carry the essay into the day. There are many inspirational daybooks out there. What sets this one apart is the mature poet’s voice rising from a seasoned soul.