#24
Late June 2006

How are you doing with your Breath and Water practice?

Some more about “I don’t know” from a reader:

*This is a good one, Nancy/Jett. They're all good. But this one hit home. "More and more, I consider myself an agnostic. Not only in the theological sense of believing that God is unknown and unknowable, but also in the sense that you are talking about: I don't know. I have had so many experiences that were resisted by me and then, later, I see to be gifts. Gifts that would NEVER have made it onto my list of things I wanted!

"Two days ago M and I were talking about this sensation of being increasingly aware as we get older of how much we do not know. I celebrate this! In physical space I enjoy traveling because of the adventure of seeing what is around the next bend in the road. As I become more aware of how much I don't know, I have an increasing sense of adventure EVERY DAY -- it doesn't matter where I am or what I am doing, really, because I realize that I have never been on this road before. I think the part about getting older is that I start to get a hint of just how long and mysterious the road is. Maybe the road ends when we die. OR, maybe, we take flight, or begin to tunnel, or catch a ride with someone, or stand still and look for a while, or.....??? In fact.... I don't know!

"Thanks for this edition. Obviously, you hit a chord with me!

More from readers:

*I can’t tell you often enough how profoundly my life has changed just from breathing, drinking water, and practicing gratitude. Every day is a revelation of beauty I never before knew existed.

*This is such a gift. Do you know that your newsletters come exactly when I need them the most? And they tell me just what I need to hear! It’s like magic.

*Oh, Nancy, I was in such a difficult state of mind, completely freaked out. Then you challenged me to recognize that “I don’t know.” Of course! That is so true, and so freeing. Omigod, what a gift you have given me. Thanks a lot.

You are most welcome. It's truly my pleasure.

When Death Comes

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps his purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle pox;
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering;
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened
or full of argument.
I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

--Mary Oliver