Peace taken up by the flesh has a rhythm to it. A field of frozen grass and falling snow, mixed with true inhabitants, will ripple with tongues of steam. Life will move in and out of itself, and possibilities will disperse from their smoky origins, drift into the branches of trees at the field’s edge, and nestle into nooks beneath the boughs.
We share a breath that’s always breathing– here and there and all at once– a breath that snuck into itself and made a circle, and then snuck into itself and made a circle, and then snuck into itself and made a circle. We share a breath that claims every face as her own, every emptiness as one of her dwellings. She presses against our root, drawing everything near, and pauses for a moment, losing her every distinction into our silence. Then we give her back, and she washes out all the way to distant shores, exposing the silt of our dreams. Steam fills the air and sparkles as it cools into ash, while a trace part of us is carried even farther beyond, to every point of the sea. Rising and falling with the water.
Sometimes we like to think otherwise, but when we are at peace we understand that it is the nature of our being to erode bit-by-bit until we mix with everything, touch everything, and mingle with every shore. Our concentration is a gradient without a boundary– a swirling, scattering pattern of breathing. We are loci of a swaying proximity to everything.
When we stop seeking, this is what we find: the world is breathing us. And we are breathing the world. Each time it looks the same– a billowing cloud of white gases that billow and spin and vanish, fading back into the greater breath– but every time it’s also a little different. The world hinges on subtleties contained in our breath. That is how the world moves. Every time the wave of this great breathing washes into us, symbols and stories mix, and a little more of what will be dissolves. The shorelines of our silence erode and become fluid. The dye of our beauty is released. Circles inside of circles inside of circles– we are the points of contact with a vast and hidden continent. We are the caves in which the breath we share once hid its secrets.
And we keep wondering who we are. We keep wondering what we mean and what we can be, when what we can be was already given. We have already been deposited in endless glaciers of rock, and they are slowly dissolving into the water. It simply takes the action of our breathing to shake us loose. It takes the breath that’s happening everywhere. And listening to it. We are the bellows of world-building, and the grains that wash out of us with every silent tide are our prayers– wordless particles that mix together in the sea.
I think it takes a while to learn that loving isn’t a skill we learn– that no one can be more or less loving. We can only get out of the way. We can only keep breathing in synchrony with the breath that is breathing us, with the breath that is climbing into every being for a look and then climbing back out into the sky as something else altogether. We can only give ourselves to it, so that our prayers have a little of everyone in them, so that our circle can live inside of other circles, that live inside of other circles, that live inside of a breath that’s always breathing.