Being Breath

stories from the wilderness of everyday life

I'm surrounded by life.

By people scurrying about, not quite sure where they are headed but knowing they need to bring home the next dollar.  By kids scurrying about, not at all concerned about the next dollar but learning ever-so-slowly from the adults around them how important that dollar is and how they can go about being right and hopefully earn that dollar and so many more.  

By my sisters who scurry in the workplace to meet the next deadline so the next dollar keeps coming, my brothers who watch every dollar and dictate where it goes, my people who are so afraid that if they stop if that next dollar does not come if they cannot find something to do then they cannot be and life

will stop.

And yet mother earth, ah, our mother, she found a way to slow us all down.  She, in her infinite wisdom, reminded us that no amount of scurrying will protect us from the ultimate outcome of our days.  She, without judgment, without favoring any of her children, shakes the false foundations upon which we have built our hopes.  She returns us to her body and says breathe.  Grieve.

How soon will you push your mother away and declare, I can make it on my own?  How long will you cling to her and cry and say I cant go on and life isnt fair and why oh why oh ....why.

Caught in my own morbid fascination of the devestation in another nation, I peruse the internet for news.  I saw a picture today of a man in Japan who owned a china shop.  Surveying his goods, carefully removing those items that were not split in the quake and washed away by the waters, he surveys his life, his livelihood, his next dollar.  Call it clinging to useless goods in the midst of pure tragedy or call it hope, deep faith, that life will go on - that it is going on - that no matter the floods of ocean water and tears that each person will pick up their own pieces and survey those that aren't split and find a way to return to life.

And you.  You.  With your deadlines and bills and pains in your back or your knee and the disagreements with family that won't seem to go away and the coulds and the shoulds and those dreams that are going unmet and the breath that right now - right now - is so shallow it isn't even reaching your spirit which is slowly dying inside and your shattered pieces of china delicately fallen around you.

You.

Where do you go from here?  Back to your book, to your class, to your job, to your family?  Back to the next dollar the next dream the next day the next breath?  

Momma is holding us all, my sister, my brother.  Look beside you and offer your hand to the one who still cries.  Because we are all suffering.  Whether we have lost our home or our father or our child or our hope for a future beyond this next dollar we are all deeply, deeply suffering.

And yet, even amidst all of this, the flower grows.  The baby is born.  The person deep in prayer finds peace enough in their heart to make it through another day.  The next dollar is made.

Call it love, call it spirit, call it whatever the hell you want to call it but call it loudly.  Scream it from every fiber of your being, every thought that you have, every opportunity you seize or forsake, every action that you take, every.single.dollar that you make.

What we think is so solid is always moving, always shifting.  The next big quake is right around the bend, my dear, life is never the same.  Heed the wisdom of your mother, hold in deep compassion your brother and sister, and let go of these judgments of how things should be.  Be thankful for your own blessings because you have so many - be thankful so deep so hard it hurts.  

 Then water your pain with your tears and let the flower of life within you feel the warmth and light of your love.  Start the only place you can - in your own body, your own thoughts, your own heart.  Breathe in the strength that the earth provides, the love that your fellow beings are trying to give to you, breathe in so deeply that it reaches within you the places with cobwebs that haven't moved since you were a little child.  And then breathe out - breathe out all those fears that life isn't how it should be that you aren't how you should be that anything - anything - is anything other than how it is.  

Life .....IS.  You?  ARE.

DO NOT FORGET THIS.