Breath

When was the last time someone took your breath away?
What did it cost you in the end?

When was the last time the natural world took your breath away?
When you caught up with it, what did you gain?

What color is the breath you inhale at this moment?
How does it change as it moves through you and out again?
How did it change you?

If your life force at five were to return, what shape would it take?
What language would it speak?

If your life force at 18 were to return, what shape would it take?
What song would it sing?

At 25? At 50?

When was the last time your breath came as easy as the sea-
rising and falling on a calm day?
What landscapes did you discover?

When was the last time you drew your breaths so deeply
they made your ribs ache and your head pound
so as to remind you how alive you really were
in that moment?

In this.

Coffee or Tea?
City Mouse or Country Mouse?
Autumn or Spring?
On what do you base your preferences?
On which preferences do you base your identity?

Fold up all your favorites, pack them into a steamer trunk, and send it overseas.
A slow boat… to where?


Write each of them a letter of longing: a love letter. A letter of letting-go:

Dear John, my dogged-eared dictionary…
My beloved Jane, deep-green woolen shawl…

How does it feel to be as un-anchored as the ship that has carried everything away?
How does it feel to walk on solid ground with your arms free, your back unbowed from the weight of all that you’d gathered?

Are you ambivalent in the face of these losses?

What do the voices of your love/hates say to you? Do to you?

And how do you soothe them?

Which pose to do take to breathe freely?