Things That Join the Sea and the Sky: Field Notes on Living

Things That Join the Sea and the Sky: Field Notes on Living

by Mark Nepo
Things That Join the Sea and the Sky: Field Notes on Living

Things That Join the Sea and the Sky: Field Notes on Living

by Mark Nepo


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A Reader for Navigating the Depths of Our Lives

“When we can open our hearts and work with what we’re given, loving what’s before us, life stays possible. Then, through effort and grace, we do what we can with what we have. And when exhausted by all that’s in the way, we’re faced with the chance to accept and love what’s left, which is everything. This is how we discover that Heaven is on Earth.” —Mark Nepo

The Universe holds us and tosses us about, only to hold us again. With Things That Join the Sea and the Sky, Mark Nepo brings us a compelling treasury of short prose reflections to turn to when struggling to keep our heads above water—and help us breathe into all of our sorrows and joys.

Inspired by his own journal writing across 15 years, the book shares with us some of Mark’s most personal work. Many passages arise from accounts of his own life events—moments of “sinking and being lifted”—and the insights they yielded. Through these passages, we’re encouraged to navigate our own currents of sea and sky, and to discover something fundamental yet elusive: how, simply, to be here.

To be enjoyed in many ways—individually, by topic, or as an unfolding sequence—Things That Join the Sea and the Sky presents 145 contemplations gathered into 17 themes, each intended to illuminate specific situations.

The themes include Unraveling Our Fear, Beyond What Goes Wrong, The Gift of Deepening, The Practice of Relationship, What Holds Us Up, Right-Sizing Our Pain, The Reach of Kindness, Burning Off What’s Unnecessary, How We Make Our Way, and many more.

For those interested in either beginning or expanding their own journaling explorations, this reader also provides a guide to the practice of daily writing, with 100 compelling questions to get you started.

“Joy is the sea that holds all,” writes Mark, “the Unity of Being where feelings don’t separate, but surface like waves to remind us we are alive.” Here, he helps us swim in those waters until we are held in the mystery of their buoyancy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781622038992
Publisher: Sounds True, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/01/2017
Pages: 264
Sales rank: 287,196
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Mark Nepo is a poet and philosopher who has taught in the fields of poetry and spirituality for over 40 years. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, he has published 21 books and recorded 14 audio projects. Mark has been interviewed several times by Oprah Winfrey as part of her Super Soul Sunday TV show, and was interviewed by Robin Roberts on Good Morning America. As a cancer survivor, Mark devotes his writing and teaching to the journey of inner transformation and the life of relationship. His work has been translated into more than 20 languages. For more, see

Table of Contents

The What and the How xv

Stopping the Noise

Quieting the Thieves 2

Bring Me Close 3

Short Wisdom on a Long Planet 4

Speechless 5

Our Hands 6

Over and Over 7

Tins Is How 8

Unraveling Our Fear

Offering 10

Once Falling In 11

On Retreat 12

If I Could 13

The Only Task 14

We Try, We Try 15

Doorways 16

During the Storm 17

Beyond What Goes Wrong

Breaking the Clearness 20

Stone of Light 22

Circling the Sun 23

Everywhere I Turn 24

To Rise from Nowhere 25

Beyond the Telling 26

Eternal Two-Step 28

Stung Open for a Moment 29

Rhythm Beneath the Rhythms 30

The Gift of Deepening

Take Me Down 33

Before We Die 34

Depth Seeks Us 35

The Other Name for Heaven 37

Being in Time 38

The Radiant Flow 39

A Delicate Crossing 41

The History of My Heart 42

From the Wooden Bridge 43

The Practice of Relationship

The Labyrinth to Shared Happiness 46

The Privilege of Awe 47

In Order co Be, Hold 49

The Urge to Fly 50

Things Get Complicated 51

The Wisdom of Strangers 52

Love Is a Guess 53

Poplars by the River 54

Matepn 55

What Holds Us Up

Love Is as Love Does 59

Daybreak 61

263 Prinsengracht 62

Quivering Angels 64

In Case 65

Toward What Is 66

Rising Our of Hardship 67

A Pebble in the Stream 68

Moment of Lift 70

Navigating Trouble

How to Empty 72

Guns in the Stream 73

The One Who Goes Nowhere 75

The Life of Questions 76

Liberated by the Rivet 79

Small Messengers 80

Inside the Darkness 81

Navigating Trouble 82

Right-Sizing Our Pain

Drinking from Center 85

Cezanne in Snow 86

Staring into the River 87

Beyond Myself 89

In a Universe That Breathes 90

Etched 91

Over Many Months 92

Near the Center 94

Shedding Our Masks

What the World Asks 96

Perks 97

An Early Mirror 98

The Details Change 99

Getting Wind of It 100

Côtô 102

In the Winter Cabin 103

Giving Way 104

The Reach of Kindness

The Swift One 106

Small Light and Timeless Light 107

Of Course You Can Come 108

Putting Down Our Broom 109

Natural 110

In the Sea of Dream 111

And So It Goes 112

The Symmetry of Kindness 113

The Radiance in All Things

Flow of Light 117

Grace Notes 118

Blood of the Sun 120

We're Intimate Now 121

The Thing Falling 122

The Oldest Song in the World 123

At Times, They Dance 124

Eve of the Crow 125

Burning Off What's Unnecessary

On the Edge of God's Shimmer 129

Becoming Conscious 130

This Tenderness 131

In Our Rawness 132

Catching Fire 133

The Mansions We Dream Of 134

The Dilation of What Seems Ordinary 135

Before the Waterfall 136

Saturn's Return 137

Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Talkin' It Over at Ouzos 140

Your Presence 141

Unfiltered 142

Tilted Toward the Sky 143

How Many Waves 144

The Infinite Canvas 145

Inside Practice 146

The Golden Thread 147

Always Building and Mending

Trying to Map the River 151

Pilot Light 152

Around the World 153

Accessing Resilience 154

After the War 155

A Star after Rain 156

Next of Kin 157

Always Building and Mending 158

The Strength of Our Attention

With Things That Break 163

Swayed in All Directions 164

Between Troubles 165

The Way We Practice 166

Vellum 167

The Creative Storm 169

As the Snow Falls 170

In Full Praise 171

The Unheard Symphony 172

Letting Everything in and Through

Instructions to MY Smaller Self 174

Time Is a Rose 175

The Conflict from Assignments 176

The Great Teacher 178

The One CRY 179

However It Might Appear 180

To Be Received 181

Every Chance We Get 185

Receiver-at-the-Waterfall 186

Landing Face Up 187

How We Make Our Way

Inside Every Burden 190

Calling It In 191

Inheriting Now 192

Let Them Go Where They Will 193

The Deepest Place on Earth 194

Life after the Ocean 195

How We Make Our Way 196

For Instance 197

Becoming a Small Gesture 198

In Love with the World 199

Threading Inner and Outer: The Practice of Journaling

In Return to Promise (An Essay on Journaling) 203

Questions to Work With 210

Gratitudes 225

Notes 227

Permissions 233

About the Author 235

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