“The whole universe is breathing as our breath; we limit the process by our assumption that we are doing the breathing.” Pir Valayat Inayat Khan
Recently, I had the experience of myself as being nothing but various kinds of respiration. There is a oneness in it. No loneliness can exist in such a state…no fears either. No anger. No irritation. Just peacefulness. I did not have the idea that the Universe is breathing me though. I would like to.
“Pied Beauty” (1877)
Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: Praise Him.
I am writing a poetry chapbook. Here is a draft of one section of free verse style Hai bun I wrote for it, presently called “VII.”:
My immune system has crashed. I am miserably sick. Rage burns in me at my helplessness and the futility of my life right now. Rage burns my heart and nothing good can come of that. I must remember to breathe. Where is my joy? I need to reclaim the joy in my life. But doing that feels so hard. Too hard. I finally discovered my Synthroid medication has gluten in it. Nice of that fucking pharmaceutical company to not tell their prescribing doctors! They could have killed me! Money grubbers! I could shriek! I can’t get past that they gave me poison in the guise of medicine. It somehow reminds me of taking the radiation. I will never forget feeling poisonous to everyone around me. I felt so lonely having to isolate myself to protect others. Every loneliness I have ever felt came back to me. Every sadness about loneliness too. I felt wrong; as wrong as wrong can be. It is an ugly thing to become poisonous and radioactive. I felt like an emanation, a manifestation of wrongness. That felt as old as my body; a sense of myself as unlovable, unwanted, a fatherless, motherless burden, hateful and pitiful. I don’t want to be reminded of that feeling. How dare they remind me of that! Yet it showed me how poisonous my lack of self-esteem has been to me. It became a cancer that grew alive in me because I could not speak nicely to myself. I want to be well. Please let me be well.
Sweet clarion of brass bell,
a silence most meaningful
for this weary body.
A voice, more resonant than any bell,
something infinite, watery and moonlit.
It slides from its shell,
spreads out far as the moon can reach.
It follows the breath,
floats deep waters, trusting,
resplendent, touching the radius of a moment,
freed, to serenely drink my tea.