I am thinking about birth, and death, and resurrection.
Their is the turning of the seasons, and the cycle of the day into night, and then the morning. Their is having children, dying, and kids growing up. There is the innocence we are born into, the complexity and darkness we grow into, and the choice to embrace a new innocence.
And a garden we were created for, exiled from, and return to. And a God-man come to Earth, murdered, and then returned anyway.
And… And there is the inhalation, a time of emptiness, and the exhalation. I have this sense that the time between breathing in and breathing out is a terrible time of emptiness that we grow immune to because we experience it nearly every second of our lives. It seems to me that it is one of those deep-time experiences, one of those moments where eternity is an endless extension of our normal, human seconds, but that the time between exhaling and inhaling is one of these moments where eternity is reached because time stretches out sideways forever.
If you have ever suffered an asthma attack, if you have ever had the wind knocked out of you, you know the abject terror of gasping and yet not being able to breathe. Some part of our brain knows that we will breathe again, that this is a temporary state of affairs that we just need to wait out. But the rest of us has this terror.
I love this idea that the Hebrew name for God, the word we often translate as Yahwew mimicks the breath itself. There is this wonderful idea that with every breath we say God’s name. If the inhale, the emptiness, and the exhale are some sort-of microcosm for the cycle of life itself; if it is a fractal of birth, death, and rebirth… Then this suggests that God’s name itself also encapsulates these things:
People mourn the cheapness of our translations of that Hebrew word, Yahwew. We settle on approximations like, “I was, and I am, and I am to Come.” This seems like an echo of the idea I am dancing with here. I think maybe “I was, and I am, and I am to come.” Is quite a bit like the idea of all things are born, all things die, and all things are reborn.
It is crazy to me that this is captured in every breath. And crazier still that not even the author of the universe is immune to this cycle of things, this birth, death, and resurrection.