It was a simple passing by most standards. A friend’s cat, Luis, died. I knew him in a cursory way. He was an old fellow when I met him, an orange tabby with bowed front legs and a raspy smoker’s meow. He had a remarkable, intentional presence even when he clumsily circled my lap looking for the precise place to lower his ancient bones. As if to make full contact, he kneaded my legs along the way, claws extended, completely unaware or unconcerned the pain this ritual brought. He was himself.
Here, then not here, totally dependent upon the absence of an inhaled breath.
We move through time and space on ephemeral wings of breath. Experience and emotion, relationships and solitude - all dependent upon the repetitive motion of inhale and exhale. It is breath that maintains our presence here, it is breath that connects us to all life. At times intentional, mostly automatic, our breath is a constant companion. It moves with us through joy and struggle, triumph and heartbreak, with unwavering loyalty. With each breath, change. Each breath, a unique motion of its own. A microcosm of cosmic movement and eternal change.
I sit in the corner of my couch, writing. One of my cats lounges against my leg in a quiet, seemingly contented mood, drifting in and out of sleep. His long black fur gently rises and falls with each breath. I marvel at the simplicity of this scene and the simultaneous enormity that it holds. A quiet morning, a soft peacefulness, and the rhythmic movement of muscle directing air.
It’s all in the breath.