Alone I was feeling the heat of dying. But once voicing my pain in a circle of others on the same path, my heart relaxed back into the light of living. ~ Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening


Mark Nepo is a poet and philosopher who knows about pain and the threat of death. In The Book of Awakening, Nepo describes what happens when we suffer alone, comparing it to what happens when light is confined--it turns to heat.

Mark’s words apply to living with hepatitis C. I have known that hot sting of isolation. When left alone with raw thoughts, it is as if I am building a fire in a confined space. If I do this too long, I smoke, and bake, and burn up. What is worse, is that I suffocate what shines in me--a light that illuminates a path to healing and wholeness.

When I step out of isolation, the fire is quenched and the cool light of hope shines.