There is one universal thing that we all do as our first act in this world. Breathe. Some of us come to it naturally as if we have waited lifetimes in the womb to fill our lungs with air; embracing this change. Others need a violent smack on the bottom to bring it about. But, regardless of how we arrive we all start the same way. We take a breath.
I am finding during these past many days, months and years under extreme pressure I have apparently forgotten how. I am at an age when many of my friends are talking about biofeedback, yoga, and meditation as if to finesse the art. I would just settle for “in” and “out”. I’m not trying to finesse anything. I’m simply trying to remember how to do it.
And there are other infancy lessons that follow shortly behind breathing in the earliest of our days that are also a struggle for me now in my mid-40s. Eating and sleeping to name two. If I remember to eat at all it is always on the run and usually consists of something like saltines with a side of saltines. I make a family dinner every night. Certainly, I do that. And I sit and listen to my children talk about their lives while the salad chases the fish – both outrunning my fork – in a clockwise circle around my plate. But I am too weary to eat it. And, if I do, it sits in my stomach like mutiny.