Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Just Breathe

This little something-something was given Sunday evening, July 15, 2007.

Just breathing on that veil that separates
What Seems To Be and What Is
is the very thing that disintegrates it,
something lovers and mystics,
poets and infants,
musicians and philosophers,
parents and siblings
have been trying to explain to others
and themselves
for thousands and thousands of years
– time out of mind, really –
and it turns out that the stories told of it,
it – this experience,
are as different from one another
as we are, one from another.

And yet, there is an underlying
similarity, if you can
suspend your disbelief long enough
to read between the lines of
one person’s perspective,
one person’s issues
and pain
and fears
and frustrations.

And then what you can see
– the whole picture, including all those things –
is exactly what is,
no matter whether it’s a philosophical argument,
a piece of fantasy fiction,
an impromptu jazz improv,
or the act of washing an infant.

It’s all the same.
It’s all us breathing
– like we’ve never breathed before,
and like we’ve always been breathing
since the doctor/nurse/midwife
smacked us on the butt and began
our indoctrination to this reality
(somewhat harsh, compared to the womb)
we’d been breathing just like that since then,
but this time,
it was holy,
this time we knew it -
and for a split second
that lasted a year
the very air we breathe
actually dissolved the iron-thick door
between us and God

– the door that’s really just a curtain,
the curtain that’s really just a veil,
the veil that is so barely there
it’s only in our imagination,
our imagination that is so unhelpful
it turns it into a wrought-iron fortified door –

and for a heartbeat there’s nothing.
Absolutely nothing between us and God.

And then,
there’s something again,
and our brain snaps back
like a rubber band over extended,
but we’ve got the memory,
the sensation,
the experience of that moment
that nothing can take from us –
thank God nothing can take it from us.

And so we tell someone,
or we don’t.
It inspires something that we’re likely to do anyway –
music for the musician,
poetry for the poet,
yes, all of that,
but here’s the thing.

Here’s the amazing
jump up and down when no one’s looking
ecstatic thing:

this one experience
that may be followed by others
again and again and again
has the power
– and I do mean power –
to change us,
if we let it.

We can put our foot down and refuse,
of course –
of course we can.

But we can also crack open
the door of our souls
just a smidgen
(or even throw the door wide open –
that’s great, too)
and let the fresh air flow through.

It’s always then that we realize
how fresh the air really is,
and how cooped up we’ve been all along.

And before you know it,
you’re someone different –
a smidgen better,
a tad wiser,
and it feels like you’ve done
nothing at all to deserve it,
to work for it,
but of course,
it’s all a matter of perspective,
because if you’re like most of us,
it took a hell of a lot of something
to open the door just a smidgen,
but of course,
that’s not the sort of hard work
we typically give ourselves credit
for doing, when
we give ourselves credit for doing
something well, at all.

And so it goes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to post all of these great thoughts.