May 13, 2019
This astonishing new collection from poet Bethany Lee weaves the thread of her keen attention around life’s joys and sorrows, draws them tightly together and offers them into our hands. With unflinching courage she extracts beauty from her journeys as seafarer and grief-tender, makes her way into the present moment, and invites us to come along.
The Breath Between offers good company for hard days, water for the thirsty spirit, and a summons to inhabit your own life more fully. You will not regret the time you spend in the chapel of these words.
“We are mystics all,” Bethany declares, with an invitation to travel with her into deep forests and inky waters, to follow stars and our own longings, wounds, and joys where, surprisingly, we discover the Light, which has been present all along. This lovely volume provides sustenance for any sojourner exploring the mysterious, wondrous workings of God in and around us.
—Lisa Graham McMinn, author of To The Table: A Spirituality of Food, Farming, and Community
The Breath Between reflects Bethany Lee’s significant gifts as a musician, and each poem in this collection is like the best songs, with beautiful imagery that makes us see and understand the world differently. Lee’s poems challenge us to notice: to notice forests and mountains, the delight of a summer evening, the sacred spaces in our everyday lives. Each poem also turns on the axis of love, and on a recognition that choosing love over fear and condemnation is choosing life, freedom, joy. The Breath Between reckons with gratitude, and I am grateful to have read this collection and to be changed by the poems Lee offers to us.
—Melanie Springer Mock, author of Worthy: Finding Yourself in a World Expecting Someone Else
The poems in Bethany Lee’s new book, The Breath Between, beg to be read multiple times. With subsequent readings these mystical poems begin to burrow. Bethany writes of the search for self and the longing for belonging, of groping in the dark and of discovering “the light is always falling/falling into place.” Images of sea, forest, and stars overhead, of snails and broken relationships, messages in road signs and “witness marks” all converge as testimony that “Either none of it matters/…. Or all of it/You, too.”
—Nancy Thomas, author of Close to the Ground
Bethany Lee’s The Breath Between invites readers into a spaciousness in day-to-day living that can help us see the wonder that shimmers in ordinary moments. Her lovely images and experiences draw us to notice, to be present, to create breathing room.
—Howard R. Macy, author of Rhythms of the Inner Life: Yearning for Closeness with God
I love these poems. Weaving together the textures of light and the rhythms of breath, seeing the wonder in ordinary everyday surroundings, touching the mysteries of night and death and grief, Bethany Lee has put into words some of the deepest human experience, and given it back to us clothed in joy and hope. Her work sings like a bird.
—Penelope Wilcock, author of The Clear Light of Day
Let this book into your life, and it will be a generous visitor, giving you blessings and consolations, musical thoughts, and glances of spirit light to play across your troubles and your treasures. In the ebb and flow of wellbeing that is a given for us all, these poems will nudge you back to center, to the true point of beginning.
—Kim Stafford, author of Wild Honey, Tough Salt
Bethany Lee’s The Breath Between is an invitation to a moment-by- moment unfolding of each day. It’s a quiet celebration of the elusive happenings, made worthy of our attention through a voice endearing and wise."
—Emily Grosvenor, editor of Oregon Home magazine