by David Lang

At dawn, I get out of bed, walk carefully across creaking floor boards so as not to wake my family, and sit on a cushion in the living room. I close my eyes and focus on my breath, counting each exhalation until I reach four and then starting over again at one. It is a simple meditation but difficult, for my attention quickly drifts into memories and images and fears and hopes until I have forgotten all about the breath and the counting. Then suddenly—I don’t know why—I remember what I have . . .


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