birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Got to Make The Morning Last

Every few hours my watch gives me a thump and suggests to me that it might be time to breathe. Funny, I thought it was time time to breathe when we emerged from the womb and then we simply don't stop until that moment before we enter the darkness and ask the great question.But the watch says breathe, dammit.

It means something besides the life long labor of respiration. it means slow down, pay attention, bring your mind to bear on the here, the now, the moment. I resent the thing, because it's not giving me credit. I already practiced mindfulness of the breath for 14 minutes this morning. Not at the watch's prompting but because I wanted to. That doesn't count?

Sometimes I listen anyway and breathe and slow down for the prescribed minute. I know how to do this. I am practiced in slowing down. Because practice. I stepped into slowing down in the slowest time of all. There and then. The time I had nearly given up on the great labor of breathing. I went off wandering for a while and then thought, well, I'll give it another try. I couldn't literally take a deep breath, but I managed as best I could and woke up to a very slow life. Woke up to a time when a busy day meant walking the four blocks to a shop and managing to get home with a bag of rice. When heady social interaction meant sharing a cup of coffee with a friend from a busier time who paused to pity my slow, solitary self. A time when so many roads through my mind were worn out, pot holed, pucked, interrupted by broken synaptical bridges that no thought could cross. So I called in the road crew and while drugs and endless assembling of puzzles had their place, the research and my instinct pointed me toward another sort of slowing down. Be mindful. Of the moment, the breath, the world I hold in this broken mind.

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