The Air Sighs


When, in the cavern darkness, the child
first opened his mouth (even before
his eyes widened to see the supple world
his lungs had breathed into being),
could he have known that breathing
trumps seeing? Did he love the way air sighs
as it brushes in and out through flesh
to sustain the tiny heart’s iambic beating,
tramping the crossroads of the brain
like donkey tracks, the blood dazzling and
invisible, the corpuscles skittering to the earlobes
and toenails? Did he have any idea it
would take all his breath to speak in stories
that would change the world?
~Luci Shaw “Breath”
Breath that created the world
by forming the Words
that tell the stories
that change the world.
We rest in that breath today,
sighing in Sabbath.


One thought on “The Air Sighs

  1. Thank you, Emily.
    This is lovely. Reminds me of the Hebrew word “ruah” (“ruach,” fem.) denoting wind/breath/spirit of God (Yahweh) that I learned years ago in an OT commentary. It was the first time that I had ever pictured God the Father as pure love, gentleness and life-giving. Prior to then, I always pictured Him as a stern old man with a long white beard watching everything that I did and holding a clipboard on which to keep an account of my sins.

    Thankfully, that perception changed when I began to read and study the NT and learn the significance of The Incarnation. The words that Jesus’ followers remembered and passed on in the Gospels — particularly His affirmation that , “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father,” (John 14:9) have stayed with me. I find them especially consoling.


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