For two hang-dog years I sat slanted on my couch and thought effortlessly about dying. I had been without work for all those many months and daily went without the company of family and friends. Having over time turned away from all but a few friends, and finding within myself a startling willingness to let even those friends push off, I inclined towards a dull isolation that surprised even me, a consummate isolate, and slipped into a monk-silence that frightened even me, a practiced closed mouth. When I got quiet enough, so quiet I could hear air, it would come only rarely the fleeting sensation that life had me in its lungs and was breathing me. There in that was God, or so it seemed then.