The Breath I
East and West, Inside and Outside
For New Year’s 1868, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s gift to his daughter Edith and son-in-law William Forbes was an Aeolian harp. The aging philosopher-poet was sharing an instrument that had brought him much pleasure--spiritual insight and inspiration--through the years, both as sound and symbol.
As spiritual heirs of Emerson, we each have been gifted for new years, and for every new moment, not with a harp but with the trembling resonance of our respiratory organs. The breath is an exquisitely sensitive instrument set within the window of our awareness. It has...