a big breath in

i’ve always been the kind of person that feels things thinly. i take everything in little bits at a time, slowly, because i like to be sure of what something is before i let that something in. it’s just the way i work – i like to keep what i know close, so that the unfamiliar can keep hovering over the horizon line. so, most days, barely anything scrapes my surface – with everything at arm’s length, it’s hard for anything to get a good grip on me. it’s like i’m barely floating above shin-deep water, only just dipping in – breathing shallow, and scarcely opening my eyes. i prefer to be like this because taking the world in all at once wears me down – i can’t stretch myself out too far without falling limp. but on some days, i want to dig a little deeper into the feeling that’s simmering in my chest. i want to crack myself open, to let myself swallow something up; something that’s worthy of a big breath in. here are a few things that i pull into my chest in moments like these:

| warm sunlight:

if i could ask for anything, i would turn to the sun. i would ask it to rise all day, and to keep on setting all through the night. natural light is all the world needs to keep spinning – and it’s all i need to keep spinning, too. nothing opens me up like a well-lit sunny bedroom does. i want to soak up all that glowing orb in the sky has to offer – all year round i’m waiting for that patch of sun to spread itself across the grass so i can spread my arms right by its side. (i’m sunburnt all summer for a reason).

| up high:

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walking up mountains digs into me deeply. this is probably partly due to my lungs struggling as i haul myself uphill, but i like to think that it’s mostly because i’m pulling myself up taller than wherever i was before. being up high and looking down at the world beneath you is the best way to realise how small you are – mountain peaks are the best (as well as my most favourite) gateway to coming to this realisation.

| the sky:

above all else, the sky is my saving grace. this is something i realised not long ago, after seeing yoko ono’s piece a hole to see the sky through (1971). looking at the sky with my full attention was something i had never done before – until one day, probably about a year ago now, when i was dealing with myself in a well-dragged-out panic and ended up with my back to the ground, staring straight up. just like how looking down at things can help you breathe more deeply, so does looking straight up. by looking straight up, i mean straight up, with no surrounds – i mean, it’s vital that you’re pressing your back into the earth and cancelling out everything but the blueness floating overhead. looking at the sky is the most important life lesson i’ve ever taken in. the sky digs deeper than anything else in the entire world can – there’s nothing as wide, as tall, as all-encompassing and completely calming, as the sky.

no matter how far you can stretch yourself out, everyone needs to take a moment sometimes. for me, i let these moments in with the sky, up high, with the sun by my side. wherever you are, whether it’s with your skin pressed against some sun-stained grass or in a busy supermarket line trying to keep yourself together – please remember to take a second: for a big breath in. sometimes, what’s most important is to let yourself let the world in, a little bit at a time.

 

all my love,

maddy

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