cover image Drinking from the River of Light: The Life of Expression

Drinking from the River of Light: The Life of Expression

Mark Nepo. Sounds True, $18.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-68364-230-5

Poet and philosopher Nepo (Seven Thousand Ways of Listening) provides personal reflections and exercises in this passionate testament to the spirituality of expression—particularly prose. “When we express, when we let out what is in... we are drinking from the River of Light,” writes Nepo. Nepo explains his writing practice and his goal, through it, “to become one with all we encounter through our enlivened practice of expression.” Confronting cancer as a young man led Nepo to reconsider his ambition as a poet and gave him his “first in-depth experience of writing as a spiritual practice,” which undergirds this project. Following each brief section on such subjects as “Yearning to Be” and “The Practice before the Practice” (about figuring out one’s goals and direction) are a few questions to guide readers’ journaling. Guided by the principle that “the life of expression is always concerned with the internal search for meaning,” this workbook and existential meditation on creativity often move away from concrete exercises to Nepo’s airy musings (as when he writes that metaphor is a means to “relate to the living Oneness of things”). Those interested in bringing spirituality into their creative practice will want to take a look. (Sept.)