It's about stopping breathing, when I was an infant. It's about the story of my stopping breathing. It's about how that story played, in the family, and how that story has played with me.
It's about listening for my mother's breathing, when I was a child, as she slept, in fear it might stop. It's about listening for my mother's breathing, the night she was dying, as she slept, for when it would stop, for it would soon stop, for we had arranged for it to stop, for it had to stop, though it was no less horrifying than ever that it would.
It's about breathing in the pool, trying over & over to be fluid, one end to the other, breathing too much, out of breath from too much breath, yet unable to gulp for it less, unable to gulp for it less maniacally.
It's about amazement, breathing in Kundalini yoga, that we can wait, with the lungs empty, to inhale, and that we can wait, with the lungs full, to exhale. It's about the glimpse of the feeling, breathing in Kundalini yoga, of breathing, and holding breathing, with no tension in the chest, relaxed.
It's about how long it took me to spot, breathing crazy, the hyper- of the hyperventilation. It's about remembering a paper bag, bunched up to a small, circular opening, and the feel, and the sound, of the crunchy expanding & contracting.
It's about being very young, and being very young & trying to comprehend pending nothingness. It's about being very young & not knowing how to stop thinking about breathing, stop monitoring breathing, and let it take care of itself, letting go of worries about whether it's too fast or too slow. It's about not knowing how to let go, even though, though very young, I knew that it was a system that was supposed to take care of itself, that worked best when it took care of itself.
It's about smothering in fear.
It's about the first time the wind was knocked out of me, and that massively stunned feeling, and suddenly understanding that expression. It's about being out of breath from exertion, and thinking, as a fat kid, that I ought to control that, so's not to let on so, to point out so that I was so.
It's about breathing in through the cigarette butt on the back stoop. It's about the smoke in the air, in the house, in the car. It's about the ones who gave me the breath, brought me into the breath of life, complicating the breaths of life. [ETA: Let's not forget that choking thing.]
It's about the edge of the blanket over the mouth. It's about the clogged nostrils. It's about the brain waves; it's about the waking up all night long while sleeping. It's about the CPAP machine.
It's about labored breathing, lungs full of gunk. It's about the clear and clean of breathing cool, outside air after stuck in stuffy dry recycled thickness. It's about the clear and clean of breathing cool, air-conditioned inside air after out in hot heavy outside thickness.
It's about sometimes you go for some period of time, and that whole time the breathing hasn't been, is somehow not, a problem. But then it is, again.
It's been on my mind, the breathing.
I know there's more that it's about, for me, that I've not yet begun to see. This here is just some of what it's about.