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Learning to Breathe

Originally posted on my “Modern Day Gypsy” blog – December 11, 2016

Learning to Breathe, #3 in my “Life in My 20s” series, came to life around 2004. The piece was prompted by personal experience and the observation of women around me who, in spite of how difficult life can be, still found the strength and courage to keep moving. And when pain and tears bring us to our knees, time eventually heals if we’re willing to face the pain head on and move through it. With each new storm we encounter, there’s often the opportunity to learn and grow, as we shed our old way of being and are (often) forced (if we attempt to resist) into a new way of existing that keeps us moving forward.  

I remember reading “Learning to Breathe” to my dear friend, Drew, and he shared the sense of hope that he felt was threaded throughout the words. He was my “test” before I openly shared my words. Drew has since passed away with lung cancer (2013), and I miss his presence, though our conversations had become rather infrequent as time passed. He was a gentle and kind soul, up until the day he left this earth, and fought the good fight with his chin up, a good attitude, and tenacity ’til the end. 

Perseverance and tenacity are requirements in the face of adversity, as is acknowledging our emotions and moving through them, for it’s the only way to truly dance and fully breath once again in this life. We must sit with the storm, even when we’re unsure of the outcome, and have faith that eventually, all storms come to an end and the sun will shine again. It’s also important and OK to acknowledge, though, that when we’re in the midst of the storm, it’s painful and unpleasant, and well, it simply doesn’t feel OK in the moment and can pretty much suck. It’s also important not to let the latter consume you–lean into the pain without becoming the pain (which can be a fine line, I know). 

 

“Life in My 20s” series


#3: Learning to Breathe

Her eyes are open; her mouth closed.
The storm has met her head on, and she can stand or she can drown.

She’s bled a lover’s blood. She’s cried a daughter’s tears.
She’s fed a baby’s hunger. She’s wept of a soul’s lost vision.

She’s tried to remember what happened yesterday, last week, last year, but tomorrow’s vision is all that’s in her head.

Time keeps ticking; that which will never stop in a lifetime.

She begs for help. She pleads for mercy. She cries out for simplicity.
Her journey is far from over.

She’s learning to breathe all over again…

Her eyes are open; her mouth closed.
The storm has hit her head on, but she will stand before she drowns.

Her hand will again be held by another lover. Her mother’s smile will live on in her head.
Her children will grow as they hold her hand. Her soul will open as she lets life begin.

She remembers what happened yesterday, last week, last year, but tomorrow’s vision is all that’s in her head.

Time keeps ticking; that which will never stop in a lifetime.

She offers help. She only shows mercy. She smiles at her quest for the simple and complex.
Her journey is far from over.

She’s learning to breathe all over again…

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