Everything needs it: bone, muscles, and even,
while it calls the earth its home, the soul.
So the merciful, noisy machine
stands in our house working away in its
lung-like voice. I hear it as I kneel
before the fire, stirring with a
stick of iron, letting the logs
lie more loosely. You, in the upstairs room,
are in your usual position, leaning on your
right shoulder which aches
all day. You are breathing
patiently; it is a
beautiful sound. It is
your life, which is so close
to my own that I would not know
where to drop the knife of
separation. And what does this have to do
with love, except
everything? Now the fire rises
and offers a dozen, singing, deep-red
roses of flame. Then it settles
to quietude, or maybe gratitude, as it feeds
as we all do, as we must, upon the invisible gift:
our purest, sweet necessity: the air.
Oh my gosh, my last posting was about responding to a desperate need for union, or perhaps better said a plea for awareness of the already existing beloved union. My solution was to breathe, to share our lives with this next breath, the only gift we truly have to give and to receive. Then Mary writes this to my heart. Taking in one poem every day I am struck by the story I am retelling of our lives here on this planet. Mary's poems speak to me like a book of Rumi poems, like a book of Koans, like the Bible, like the Talmud, like the Quran, like an African chant, like a Hopi dance., and like a woodpecker's tapping on a tree. All these scriptures knock on the soul's door so that we may open to awareness, and if we just focus with intent, we can retell the stories of our lives based on love, and not on domination and power over others. It doesn't really matter what we choose to help guide us, especially since it seems that guides choose us. And Mary, you have chosen me so that I may with joy greet the sun's rising knowing that the air I take in and that becomes part of my body's molecules comes from the same air you have taken in, that the dinosaurs snorted out, and that Jesus cried. To breathe is to love our neighbors as ourselves.
What does breathing mean to you?