advent journal: breathing lessons


The book I started on my ride to New York this morning was Unpacking the Boxes: A Memoir of a Life in Poetry by Donald Hall. A couple of pages in, I found this sentence:

Their house was always dark: it felt like held breath. (5)

The sentence stayed with me. When I sat down to write, here is where it took me.

breathing lessons

I was on the train for
an hour and a half before
before the wisps of sunrise
this morning; tomorrow
it will even take longer—
the night holds its breath
as long as it can before
it exhales into daylight,
turning the clouds into
tongues of fire fueled by
the fresh air of a new day.
I watched them fly by and
I heard Ginger’s words of
invitation, repeated on
the cusp of worship each
Sunday: breathe in the
breath of God; breathe
out the love of God . . .
so I did—I breathed and
hoped my lungs would
fill up with fiery clouds.



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