I recently heard a writer admonish us to put oxygen back into deep breathing.
One of our Adagio family recently underwent a medical procedure. Her therapists drilled her on the importance of deep breathing to prevent pneumonia. She came home determined that each of us needs to take deep breaths. Like a drill sergeant she orders, “Breathe. Breathe.”
Once the humor of the situation passed I agreed with the diagnosis. Of course we need to breathe but there are many times when we hold our breath.
We hold our breath as a vehicle rockets from two lanes over into the small space between our car and the SUV with Baby On Board in front of us. We hold our breath as we try to abort a sneeze after drinking three cups of coffee,
We hold our breath when our seniors determinedly talk over each other, neither willing to give up air space. We hold our breath when they lurch sideways while maneuvering their walkers. When they declare they didn’t sleep all night and no one came when they called and called. (Snoring was contrary evidence but perceptions count.) We held our breath before calling when a visiting pet ran out the front door and down into the street.
Yesterday between dinner and dessert we were abruptly commanded, “Breathe. Breathe.” I asked when they remembered holding their breath. Any time they were startled was one answer.
I asked if they were sometimes afraid and held their breath. Some answers originated from situations 40 years ago. More currently they said they were afraid when they didn’t understand what was going on. When they thought they might fall. When their family “talked over them” but they knew they were the subject.
At this point our drill sergeant announced “Too much talking. Breathe. Breathe.” And we did.