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This Breath

August 17, 2010

Kim Pini

“This breath, not the last one, not the next one.”  This sentence, said by Kim Pini as she guided us through Bikram Yoga last night has been in my thoughts ever since.  I have taken the notion to the concepts of this moment, this day, this sentence….   

As a person whose brain seldom ceases its activity, perhaps nocturnally although I can’t guarantee it, that breath did stop me cold.  I felt it at the moment of its birth, through the bounty of its vital oxygen exchange and all the way to its final whispers.  I want to take this feeling of living in the present, be that connected to every bit of my experience.  As the day progressed, I soon realized that it wouldn’t do for some important things, like writing for example.  It is not just this word, this sentence, this paragraph.  It is the connection between these words and the ones before and after that make up the story.  Perhaps poetry, I thought.  But no, it is the compositon of the phrases, the artistry of the author’s use of words in relation to each other that moves me.  Further, it is not just this moment at home with my love, it is the whole of our love that threads through our every new moments, the laden history ripe like perfect fruit that takes all season to perfect. 

Yet, this breath right now is everything too.  It is the culmination of all my breaths until this moment and the birth of all the next ones to come.  Stopping to honor it, to ask the brain to cease and desist, paying homage to the automatic bodily function of a single breath has changed my perspective, grounded me, rested me even.  I went to the ocean today and dipped my body in the cold Pacific waters of Santa Cruz.  I stood waist deep, my goose bumps a nubby blanket, the next wave ready to wash against me with its chilling cold spray across my chest.  I waited, stopped thinking about my goal of dipping under, let the sea penetrate my stillness.  I went for a run later up in the forest, the dusty trail sifting into my shoes, my daughter Eva ahead of me.  I watched her, I felt the dust between my toes as it filtered through my thin socks, Eva’s long brown pony tail swishing ahead, her running shoes puffing little clouds in the trail, mesmerized by my relationship to the world.  Stop, I say, like Kim did.  This breath, not the one before, not the one after and then go forth. 

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kim permalink
    August 17, 2010 11:38 pm

    Wow! Chills from reading your symphony of words. Thank you so much for bringing your blog to my attention. As I read about your connection to “this word, this sentence, this paragraph,” I was reminded of the simplicity of life. That’s really all we are, cummulations of breath: the last one preparing us for the next one, life effortlessly suspended in the middle. Thank you for your beautiful thoughts!

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