Breath Unto Breath

Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. (Psalm 42:7)

Some, of course do pass out — right out of the circle. But if anything besides rage is clear in these drowning surroundings, it’s the clarity of those few who seem to quicken in their sickness and dying, those gifted few who stay awake as they fall away, and offer to us attendant comrades instructions from the beyond, or the going-beyond. [1991]

Aaron Shurin “Further Under” from Unbound: A Book of AIDS collected in The Skin of Meaning: Collected Literary Essays and Talks.

How to live to the very last moment these our teachers gave to us. And what does this mean? An example is how Shurin reads Jean Genet’s trail of smoke in Un Chant d’Amour: “When one prisoner passes his lifebreath of cigarette smoke through a hole in the wall along the length of a straw to his friend, it contains the beauty of every secret exchange, glance, letter, or touch passed from man to man or woman to woman through the ages of heterosocial domination. And honey, nobody — not even Bette Davis — has ever, before or since, smoked on screen like that! [1990]

A going-beyond…

And so for day 2074

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