Lungs. A place of life and death and vulnerability…
Breathing With Both Lungs
I once heard it said
Our lungs are where we hold our grief.
When I inhale sharply, to remember
Why does it hurt to breathe?
Lament happened so long ago
Or has it been only a moment or so.
How fully has my memory constricted.
Can I locate the dull ache I long to forget.
Who’s counting? My breathing,
Your breathing, Our breathing. Exhale.
Is the level measured by exhales
Do our inhales even work anymore?
Can we fill our lungs with Presence
Or is it far too late for that now
Now that absence is all we know
Will it always hurt to breathe?
If I practice, will I remember how it was breathing with both lungs?
A few reflections:
This minuscule invader, the virus we are all shellshocked by, attacks the lungs severely.
The two people closest to me who I have lost, months and years ago, both succumbed in part to pneumonia.
My own lungs are the weakest part of me, bronchitis dozens of times as a child, often out of breath more easily than I’d like.
And this day of Good Friday, the crucifixion… this torture meant they die of asphyxiation. A horror many are living now.
Here we are, together in this great collective gasp. Anxiety is stealing our joy breath. Sadness saps our life breath. God whose breath once went out, You suffer with us and for us, and we suffer with each other. Teach us how to breathe again.