BREATH

This is stating the obvious, of course.  

The experiences from my work.  The short lives I became a part of and witnessed as they ended.  All of those little people I loved (and the big ones who came with them). They will forever be with me.  Individually and as a collective.  And they feed the soul of my current, evolving work.

Obvious.  Got it.  And yet, it takes me by surprise.

Today’s (2/13) Movement class exercise (a sort of crude breakdown of it, anyway):  

Get a partner.  

One will lie down the other will kneel at their side.  He said he would lie down first.  

They are instructed to close their eyes. 

After a moment, we, the kneelers, are instructed to put our hand on their diaphragm.  Then to close our eyes too.  

Then, picture it, we just sit with our hand resting on their diaphragm.  Feeling their breath. The rise and fall of it.  

There is nothing else.  No one else.  Just his breath in my hand.

And then this comes.

When someone is dying, what you watch is their breath.  The rise and fall of their chest.  

The rise.  The fall.  

Then the rise.  And fall.  

Maybe selfishly you feel relief at the rise.  There is still life there.  

Is there a chance they won’t die?

The rise.

Then it becomes almost painful to watch.  You know they need to go.

Maybe someone whispers to them.

The rise.

It’s just reflexive now.  Not life.  

The rise.  The fall.

Then stillness.

My hand is on his diaphragm.  His chest rises into it.  And it falls.  It rises.  It falls.  In a beautifully perfect rhythm.

My tears are quietly, freely flowing.  

All those losses.  And yet here, this life.

I am overwhelmed by the feeling of his breath.  The rise. The fall.  

The simplicity of it.  The miracle of it.  

Feeling the breath of someone I hardly know.  

Takes my breath away.