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A SPIRITUAL UMBILICAL CORD

February 8, 2015

The nested meditation below came to me a couple of weeks ago as I walked along Swan Creek. Something about the fascination of seeing my breath on that cold winter day sparked the piece.

 

I am.

 

I am

implanted in the earth.

 

I am

implanted in the earth

like an embryo in a womb.

 

I am

implanted in the earth

like an embryo in a womb--

this breath… and this breath… and this breath my cord.

 

I am

implanted in the earth

like an embryo in a womb--

this breath… and this breath… and this breath my cord

of connection to the Great Mother.

 

I am

implanted in the earth

like an embryo in a womb--

this breath… and this breath… and this breath my cord

of connection to the Great Mother

in whom I live and move and have my being.

 

(acknowledgment to St. Paul for the last line)

 

Delight in seeing my own breath has been with me since childhood. I remember standing at the bus stop in winter as a child. We used to take plastic ink cartridges out of our pencil pouches and pretend they were cigarettes; each outbreath became the smoke. Luckily no one ever died of firsthand or secondhand water vapor!

 

After writing the nested meditation above, I began to play with the notion of my breath being a cord of connection to a sustaining energy much larger than myself. The phrase “BREATHE LOVE… BE LOVE” came to me. Like a child, I began to imagine that the cord of connection that is my breath supplies me with something more than oxygen. Then I noticed that BREATHE becomes BE by removing the letters R, E, A, T, and H. What if I imagined these as spiritual vitamins that are as vital to my soul as oxygen is to my body? I wondered. If I could breathe in and extract five boosters for my attempt to be a loving presence in the world, what would they be? Your imagination might lead to the letters meaning something different for you, but here is what I’ve decided they signify for me:

 

R: Remember, reconnect, re-align with a source of love larger than myself

E: Empathic presence to suffering

A: Authentic self (“Fearlessly be yourself.” --Anthony Rapp)

T: This breath… and this breath… and this breath my cord

H: Healing of body, mind, spirit, and relationships

 

That moment seeing my breath while walking along Swan Creek... and remembering smoking ink cartridges as a grade schooler... and playing with words and letters like a child has led me to a surprisingly simple, enjoyable, and rich meditation. A friend, Fr. Mark Davis, has called play the eighth sacrament. Children live the grace of that sacrament. As adults we can still have access to it if we’re willing to give the adult mind a few ink cartridges on a cold day and tell him to go take a smoke break.

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All writing excerpts on this site copyrighted by Kevin Anderson.  For permissions, email wingedlifeinfo@gmail.com

Crecopia moth photo in header used by permission of Scott Rosenfeld, scottrosenfeldphoto.com