The Breath of God


Is it sweet? Is it sour? A wise woman said it is all around us and inside us. It smells of All Things. It’s of fresh breezes off the ocean, smelling of salt and sea creatures and their secrets. In the breath of God one may perceive the tragedies of every wreck, the lost loves of those buried at sea and the mournful dirge they sing over the waves, will sing forever more. Gold doubloons, ropes and ropes of pearls, chests full of rubies; these all have a distinct aroma that may be enjoyed by the contemplative. And too, one hears the echoes of siren song from a thousand years ago, and the seductive odor of those lovely beasts. The delicious sea-shaped rocks, granules of sand, rotting kelp, jelly lumps of deceased medusa, these flavor the winds that comprise the breath of God. The ocean smells of sex and death, and that is God.

So too it smells of fresh breezes from the hills, from vast fields of waving grasses and dense forests dark with the hearts of craggy spirits and bright with the scent of jeweled berries ripening, bursting with juices, crushed underfoot. Oak leaves crunched down into the black earth, bruised leaves of nettle and dandelion and all bitter things, mistletoe hanging down to tease kisses. Far back in a meadow in a thicket, the body of a hart lies decomposing, the arrow still in his neck and that is on the breath of God. God smells of the fecundity of all growing things and the leavings of when they die. When we die. The alchemical workshops of fox and polecat produce the fecal prima materia within which other life shall cling with tenacity.

So too the breath of God is the noxious fumes of burning tire at a vast dump of human waste. God’s breath must reek of devastating poverty, unwashed bodies, leathery sun-soaked bodies with the ribs poking out. Spoiled milk and sulphorous egg. God’s breath is an abattoir, a charnel house of burning flesh. One must take care to remember that God’s breath is not only the nice smells of jade and amber, of river water flowing over rounded rocks, of grottoes bedecked with moss and ivy and ancient statuary stained with time. The smell of the latrine is as much the smell of God as is the scent of a lover’s body after coitus or a peach pie cooling on a windowsill.  The drunk, smelling of cigarettes and cheap booze, smells of God’s breath as does the bleeding, weeping membranes and shameful secretions of the raped. A child’s tears or a child’s vomit. It’s all God and it is all holy.

We are holy, veiled in the exhalations of the divine and sublime.


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