the breath in the mouth

In a murderous time
      the heart breaks and breaks
and lives by breaking.

—STANLEY KUNITZ, “The Testing-Tree”

When the sun rises it sings as Udgâtri for the sake of all creatures. When it rises it destroys the fear of darkness.
This (the breath in the mouth) and that (the sun) are the same. This is hot and that is hot. This they call svara (sound), and that they call pratyâsvara (reflected sound). Therefore let a man meditate on the udgîtha (Om) as this and that (as breath and as sun).

–The Upanishads, third kanda

The massacre in Christchurch punched the breath right out of me. I am shattered. I am in a heartbroken solidarity. When a tragedy is so large you cannot swallow it, where does it go? The world is in shock, in grief, over and over and over again. How many times have we had to ask ourselves: What next?

However right now I feel that this grief, because it cannot sit stagnant within me, must be channelled elsewhere, into action, into advocacy. What happens next is what I make happen next. I am bitter sour afraid. For all my Muslim brothers and sisters I am seeing with eyes wide open. I am educating myself. I am wondering, what is my role as a brown non-Muslim person? What is Hindu-Muslim solidarity? What can I do and what will I do? I am questioning, relentlessly, and I am seeking answers. If there are no answers I will create them myself with my own two hands. My breath the sun. An entire world within me. I believe this, that my hands can create, deep in the soil where all life is.

Grief is a powerful thing, so powerful it destroys us, it takes us prisoner, it punches the breath right out of our gut. But in this time a heart lives by breaking, and it is forged again, and breaks again. We too must dig our hands deep into the hard work of carving out safe spaces, no matter what it takes. Ready to break. Ready to put ourselves back together. Within me there is a strength that cannot be laid to rest even in grief. Make no mistake: this is not resilience. This is survival. In the cracked earth breath whistles through.

It is an incomprehensibly murderous time. We are breaking against within through free and we live by this and we will keep living by this, holding steady, digging deep.

One Comment

Connect IT Hub posted on August 5, 2019 at 12:49 am

it was very sad

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