Via Basel: Planning and Praying

Photo by Mitch Dobrowner

I don’t subscribe to a very structured life at this stage in my life. Still out of necessity or habit I continue to plan to fill some voids here and there. Recently, in the last few days and weeks, several incidents, accidents, and unwelcome events have upended what few plans I had. A poem from one of my favorite authors, Mark Nepo, captured my feelings, mood, and inspired me. I love it not only for its brevity and wit, but also how it ends. It turns disappointment and frustration into the joy of giving and loving. In that spirit, I share it with you my reader.

Praying I Will Find

I used to have so many plans, good plans,

grand plans. In the beginning, I would be

annoyed by the calamities I’d meet along

the way that would keep me from my plans.


I used to pride myself on how I could get

back on track so quickly. But the more I

loved and the more I suffered, the more

my plans were interrupted by those in



Eventually, the call of life, unexpected

and unrehearsed, made swiss cheese of

my plans.


Now, like an emperor undressed by time,

I wander the days naked of plans, praying

that I will find love to give and suffering

to heal before the sun goes down.


From: The Half-Life of Angels

By Mark Nepo

Freefall Books 2023

Mark Nepo’s Website

Mark Nepo’s poem at Spirituality + Health

Basel Al-Aswad, father of EIL founder Christopher Al-Aswad, is a yogi trapped in an Orthopedic Surgeon’s body. His loves in life include reading, writing, hiking, enjoying nature, meditation, and spending time with his large Iraqi family; now, semi-retired, he is exploring new avenues in medicine, education, public speaking, teaching, and social engagement.


3 responses to “Via Basel: Planning and Praying”

  1. basela says:

    Simple advice, a poem, read it twice…

  2. Scott Anderson says:

    Great wisdom!

  3. Jamil Kirdar says:

    Beautiful and succinct in expressing the core needs that one has to address daily and frequently
    Thank you for sharing! Loving regards. Jamil

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