17 September 2008

Breathing

"Every breath is a prayer."

"Did you learn that at Hebrew school?"

"No, they say it at synagogue.

"Oh, right. They do, don't they."

The Offspring makes me think fairly often, but this one blew my mind pretty good.

After a pretty tough spring with six or eight weeks of troubles with asthma, I've identified myself as disabled at work so as to be able to teach on line if necessary and, hopefully, do a better job at keeping up with my classes. I'm having a tough time with going through this process, which isn't the point of this post, and maybe I'll get back to it another time.

At any rate, having The Offspring quote the liturgy at me got me really thinking.

If every breath is prayer, what does that do for the breaths that are "invalid" (yeah, go ahead and read that both ways), the ones that I get so angry about when they occur in my body, the ones that make me grieve when they occur in the body of The Offspring, to whom I've given my genes for this disease, among other things?

Are the imperfect breaths, then, imperfect prayers? I'm pretty sure all of my prayers are imperfect. It occurs to me to be more grateful for the good breaths, the easy breaths, the ones I take for granted, to try to move away from being so angry and so afraid when breathing fails.