presence and the breath


Last night

a friend in New York

wrote to say, and ask, “Tough days

are here and ahead. How are

things there?”

To which

I responded, “At various

times in our lives, it’s been possible

to trick ourselves into believing we had something

besides presence and the breath, hasn’t it? Aren’t we fortunate,

now — whether on steady but unfamiliar ground, or in known

but afflicted territory — to have the illusion removed?

I am alone in perhaps the largest way ever,

but grateful for these two companions

whose friendship is bottomless

when I am but mindful

of them.”