There are special breaths that come to us over the course of our lives.

There is the “Breath of Arrival”. We come into this world from our mothers and are shocked into wakefulness. The sudden awareness of the world overwhelms us and fills our lungs with this great breath that is quickly followed by tears and wails. We have been removed from the confluence of the creativity, segregated from the divine – the Grace – and now begin a long slow journey to find a path that takes us back.

There is the “Breath of Shivers” when we first become aware of our smallness in the great world and tremble with the fear our frailness. Some of us get stuck in this breath. It constantly warns us and becomes a filter that keeps us in a safe place, not pushing too hard against the boundaries of our boxes.

Then there is the “Breath of Gateways” when our eyes clear and we see our parents or our children. The essence from which you emerged or of self emerging from self. These are the gateways that compelled your passage into the world or the one that you called into flesh through your own gates. In their eyes, and in their smiles, and in their touch we see the barest, most beautiful glimpse of the divine made manifest — the Art — and it fills our hearts with a breath that emerges as riotous laughter and joy. These gateways will continue to give us numerous smaller breaths of comfort, joy, passage to slumber, passage to wakefulness, and sometimes (hopefully only sometimes) the shiver of fear and doubt.

Then there is the “Breath of Visions” when we catch a glimpse of the divine through another’s eyes, unconnected to us. Their very being resonates in our hearts and lifts us to a higher place. It causes a great breath to fill us, lifting our hearts, and causing our stomachs to churn. In those eyes, in that breath, in that resonance, we know that there is Grace in the world and that there is divinity to be had. This breath brings us companions that walk with us on our journey.

Some of us are lucky enough to breathe this breath deeply many times. For some, this becomes the only way to breathe and it fills our world with such bright colors. Unfortunately it can be uncomfortable in a desaturated world and can take us back to the breath of shivers.

Then there is the “Breath of Flows.” It is brought on by the rhythm and touch of another, or a moment of purity and flow from our engagement of the world. With this breath we release and connect with the Grace. It is blinding, blissful, intoxicating, and frightening. It shows us our power to create and ascend. In that moment, we die a little bit. That connection has the price of an offering to the Grace and we are given memories and fire in return. Eventually this may compel Art through the gateway and into the world. This Art may be a creation of flesh or concept. Whatever it is, it allows you the breath of gateways again and again.

Then there is the “Breath of Fire” when you first push beyond the breath of shivers, meet an obstacle, receive the transformations it offers, and come through the other side. A mighty wind fills you lungs, swells your heart, empowers you with fiero and the knowledge that you can overcome. Embracing this breath and learning to breath it naturally causes obstacles in your path to melt away.

Eventually comes the “Breath of Awakening.” You have lived long enough for your eyes to open and see the path behind. The lessons of your life stand out like fireflies in an early summer evening. You call to them, caress them, show them love and not anger. Your lungs fill, your heart swells, and with the exhalation a new, true path is revealed. It is so overwhelming it brings tears to your eyes. You no longer need to stumble forward. However, you do grow lonely because the new path leads away from the common road. It takes you to a place somewhere far between the “return to the Grace” and “the old road that is filled with stumbling companions.” You will meet new companions on this new path but they will be fewer and far between.

In time comes the “Breath of Goodbyes.” As time passes on, what companions we accrue will eventually find their way back to the Grace. So woven is their story into ours that when they leave they carry a piece of us with them. The departure of this piece brings a long slow pang that comes with a breath that hisses in our teeth and catches in our heart. It takes a long time to exhale, and some of it leaves as salty tears and wracking sorrow, exhausting us. It can bring us to our knees. That piece remains like a phantom limb, giving us strange sensations and smaller breaths over the years that come.

Then there is the “Breath of Grace.” We have given the world what we have to give. We have learned lessons and been lessons to others. Our fragile shells have worn. One day we start to see, with every blink of our eyes, that the Grace that seemed so far away now looms closer and closer. At this time a breath begins to charge up and then it comes pouring from our heart, lungs, and mind. In it are all of the other breaths in rapid succession. The light envelops us, and we are the Grace. We are surrounding all those that we knew and can see that they are struggling with the “breath of goodbyes” in various ways. In our hands are pieces of them that we carry like way-stones that we leave in a trail for them to follow as we expand back into the Deep Grace.

We have become the Breath and we realize that we were always Grace. We were only looking from the inside out. If only we could tell those left behind, “Breathe deeply of the world and we will always be companions.”

From this side, those left behind are the lights, the Art, and they are glorious to behold.

They become the constellations that in time will lead a new you back to the world as new Art.

May these words be medicine, from me to you, as I work my way towards Grace.


-Allen Turner

Allen Turner

Writer, Storyteller, Game designer, Teacher, Dad, Table-top RPG geek. I'm just a dude who likes to share my wild imaginings. Follow me on Twitter @CouncilOfFools

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