Someone asked, 'What is your inspiration?' I thought about it and realized that my chief inspiration is something so small, so humble, so effortless; yet we cannot live without it. So insignificant that we hardly notice, yet vast beyond conception.

My inspiration is a sacrament that encompasses every cycle of ebb and flow, encircling the cosmos, yet is embodied here, in my particular and ordinary now.

My inspiration is this breath. This breath, nourished by awareness, illumined by Grace.

Grace becomes concrete in this breath, because I am simply aware that I do not take this breath, it is given to me.

Nothing more near, more common than a breath. Yet what moves my breath moves the planets, turns the galaxy, and pulsates eternity as time. This breath sparkles. It is the milk-flow of the cosmic mother.

My breath does not originate in me. It pours from the stars through my crown, my brow, my chest, my belly. Streaming down my spine, a string of liquid pearls, moonbeams pooled in my heart, seeping into every cell of flesh, saturating this body with the glow of God's first word, "Let there be light."

My breath connects heaven and earth. My breath is the first gift, and the last offering. My breath awakens me, reminds me that miracles begin right where I am.

I am still searching for the Breath Giver, so that I may bow down in thanksgiving. But I bow down anyway. Unknowing.

Painting: 'Holy Spirit' by Colleen Shay

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