You would think after all this time I wouldn’t need to remind myself to breathe, something I do automatically. Yet I need to sometimes.
There are so many things I’m finding I want to do this evening. It’s strange how pressure can seem to mount up to get things done when these things are avocations, for enjoyment, for entertainment purposes only. Well, perhaps I’ll withdraw the word only in the last statement, considering the nature of some of these personal endeavors.
I found myself flitting from project to project, urgently trying to keep up with the dances of my mental dervishes. The glee of delving into my endeavors of delight became task driven, the looming shadow of completion casting over me from the gargoyle of my bedtime.
This is a regular occurrence for me. I take all my bits of enthusiasms and heap them into a basket, packing and stuffing the container until they strain under the urgency ignited by my zeal. Passions turn into pressures. What starts out as sand glistening in the sun, freshly wet from the receding surf ends up quickly diving through the pinch point in the center of an hourglass.
What is behind this transition, where the joy leaks from my indulgences? It always occurs when I frame it in minutes and seconds, when I try to cram 30 nows into a box rated for 20 nows. What created such a sensitivity in me to the impending feeling of time escaping from my life with a slow hiss? How did I get to the point where my appetite for my various delights became insatiable, where I voraciously devour each and every one as hastily as possible, in hopes that I can extract every bit of enjoyment out of the waning hours and minutes of the evening? After all is said and done, when the day starts to put the chairs up on the tables and blows out the candles, will I retire with a smile or will I lament the number of little indulgences I did not get to partake in?
So as I stood outside with the dogs, taking a moment to look out over the water, I told myself their call to nature was not an interruption, rather a reminder. It was the view of the waltz of the currents in the bay, the brushstrokes of grey swathed across the blue of the sky, the rain softly tapping out its random syncopation, that reminded me to breathe. To be aware of the moment as I took it in, to release as I let it go. I did not need to make time to breathe. I did not need to take in and let out as many breaths as I could before the day exhausted itself. I simply needed to breathe.