I breathe therefore I am until I’m not

I suck it in & push it out



Soft warm moist filaments of air link me to the living world

I pull on them, expand & travel

My first memory.

Real, not implanted through the telling of stories…theres a car a door and my left hand and a very sharp intake of breath. I was two years old. morris minor~2~2 Miniscule Morris Minor breath memory implant.

And Then

Follows cruel thin & mean crepuscular childhood asthmatic beathing. Blue liped, exhaustion, shoulders heaving pointlessly on wide spread ribs, stomach sucked in and pushed out in vacuous despairing respiration. Doctors with bad breath, a mother breathing for me a steaming kettle for relief in hand (& comics the best of tonics).

Adolescence introduced a whole new world of breathing! Along with variations on not breathing.

Thus far not breathing was deaths stalking horse. Now came the realisation of the value and importance of the spaces between breaths.  This opening up of knowledge coincided with the expansion of my lungs. I was 12. I started to run, and in blew a whole new rich techi-coloured oxygen saturated world. Oh joyous life affirming air.  I had some serious catching up to do. 53823803_b8ab35b2db_o~2

I wasn’t hungrmy for that air I was ravenous! Having once clawed and scratched and rasped, once released, I demanded please sir can I have some more!

cropped-cropped-running1~2 Hormone’s. Suffused, drenched, near drowned in an unseen chemistry, a machine assembled, fueled by a desire hot and quick. Semi controlled. Fingers spread, mouth and mind open taught tight confident and defined, air was channelled in rank and file without care, unconscious consumption, seeking boundaries expecting and planning for none, resistance futile! 14160474-sprinter-leaving-starting-blocks-on-the-running-track-explosive-start~2~2

A new Breathless…

When it came. When it happened. So soft & Unforgettable. Do YOU remember my first kiss H….? Do you remember where you stood, the perfume you wore, how your hair was cut, the jacket you wore? You only need ask. Did you feel my heart leap? My breath leave my body & my slow inhalation? Were you aware of your absolute & complete capture within me?


A breathing memory amygdala fixed fast, and with this came that sighing breath of dreamers and dreams of things that could have should have but did not…first of loves many found and sought and fought for and lost but always always remembered.

Laughing breath, light and free, or deep deep rib bruising joy of the infinite infinite joys of life full of warm days and hot nights

Then in balance. For every rise there’s

Hard. Cold. Petrifying. Stuttering. Chain stoking. Unremitting. Black breath of death and loss and falling falling falling… No catching, but a choking breath that comes juddering shuddering in great lifeless boulders. This is a breath you cannot void. It is unavoidable. It cannot sustain nought but. Pain.

And on the song sings because it must,

For you and I,

Oxygenate or….. die,

And turn to dust.

17 thoughts on “Breathe

  1. Are no comments better or worse than bad comments? Hope springs eternal…

    To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,—
    One clover, and a bee,
    And revery.
    The revery alone will do
    If bees are few.

  2. That was intense… your early descriptions remind me of a novel my boss lent me… but the title eludes me. It’s in the glove box of my car right now (I’m shit at returning books). Your description of a first love… wow. I never had a first love. My firsts were of a different sort but I feel like I could feel it how you wrote it.

    • Thank you so much AL. I really & sincerely appreciate you reading & commenting on this piece.

      I read (consume) so many books. I’ve got to the point where characters have moved from one book to another, interacting & forming their own plots in my head. Would this be early onset of literary schizophrenic dementia? If you find the title of the book I’d be really interested. The best opening to a book I ever read was by Italo Calvino ‘If on a Winters Night a Traveler’ (I think.. I’m going to have to go check that lol.)

      But most of all thank YOU.

      • I feel like my brain is so empty tonight, I’ve been at a loss for names, country capitals, and authors. It is just empty and in need of sleep, I suppose. I will check the book tomorrow (if I can stand to do more than just drive down the road with an angry glare on my face in this cold).
        Hope you are doing well! Is your friend okay after his accident?

  3. Hi I got a message of help from my pal. He will get better, no long lasting damage, but he is bereft about his bike. In England cyclists come way down the list of priorities for the police & getting insurance companies to pay out without a prosecution is almost impossible. His bike was a good one (£2500…maybe we always say our bikes cost less…sort of an inverse boast??) I’ll let you know of developments. I live in Norfolk which has the dubious honour of being the second most dangerous place for cyclists (London’s got the top spot…9 deaths in 2 weeks in November!!!…the police reaction was to set a target of 40 charges per police officer per month…against cyclists. Its a mad world)

  4. Your writing is so engaging – I started to skim, stopped went back to the begining, stopped went and got my drink and sat down to have a close read – really enjoyed it and I’m going to send a share of it to my husband – he’d love this.

    • Hi Jenni, really glad you enjoyed reading ‘Breath’. Hope it doesn’t drive your husband to drink as well haha. I read your comment on AussaLorens blog (knickers down your trousers, made me laugh out loud. I’ve had a similar event, but it was a sock) I’m now reading your blogs, really powerful & impressive writing!

      Kind regards


      • Thanks – it was certainly a memorable moment in my life that I think is even beyond the scope of drugs and alcohol to suppress. I’m glad you like my writing – it’s always nice to know that you’re not just blathering on to an empty universe. Jen

  5. I know this breathing. It used to be so easy when I was younger; always there, filling my heart with energy and hope. Now that I’m older I feel that sense of sucking air into lungs that don’t want to inflate. …. and to chase the breath of love…. I miss that most of all. — Beautiful memories, thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. There’s a quiet strength of poetic wisdom in your words.

    “…and to chase the breath of love..”

    Such a moving phrase. I might be true to say my mirror is but barely misted, & I too feel that loss.

    I’m a keen cyclist, (the age gap between myself & other club members is over 30 years) & closing the gap requires gargantuan gasps & efforts. But its the exhilaration of the chase & the memory of past achievement that’s sustain.

    Thank you so much for taking time to read this piece, & for such kind comments 😃

      • Evocative is certainly something I try to conjure in my own attempts at fiction, though I confess I’m at a loss to determine (in spite of your blog’s name) whether/if/how much of what you’ve written is created, and how much is real.

        Nostalgia for me has overtones of a golden era that never was. I prefer the future already 🙂

      • A lot of what I’ve written is factual or is heavily based on fact or personal experience.

        Nostalgia and melancholia are intimate travellers for me. As a child I’d sit in ancient chairs breathing in the smells of decade’s past whilst my gran would recount stories of people past. Little did I realise that they were also of the future, as what’s bred in the bone will out.

        The quote is from Henry Miller I think. But that might well be fiction 😉

      • In that case I hope you’re okay. Melancholia didn’t even come close to a couple of these most recent ones. :/

  7. Breathing. So simple, and yet, so complex.

    We forget to breathe. We hold our breath. We breathe heavily. We get the wind knocked out of us.

    It’s its own metaphor. Ack! Friday! Am I even making sense?

    • Yes you do.

      I think the inspiration for this blog came from something you said (along time back. A long time equates to any period of time I can’t place. Which might be a conventional long time or just yesterday humm sad but true)

      I now work in a hospital, and I observe a lot of breathing. A panoply of bronchial and alveolar pneumatisation. Each breath is redolent with emotion, conscious and unconscious.

      We live in this, mostly, invisible soup. All of us intimately conjoined, like it or not, in both place and purpose.

      (Now I’m rambling haha)

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