On Learning How To Breathe


Poem entry for the Weekly Writing Challenge


The first time I breathed

today (for those others

surely could not have been but mere imitations!)

I felt it, really felt it,

flow into my nasal passages

as I stole some of the passing

gust of wind.

The breath, full of all

those eternal argon particles

and stardust pieces (but

mostly nothing –

at all)

tumbles into my lungs (

expanding, e x p a n d i n g)

and finally I feel what

I had been missing all day.

Connection, life, wealth, and


all contained within this

one curious handful of air.

Imagine that! The history

of the universe, contained for

moments at a time

within my own being…

it’s only right that I should

feel so lucky.

Exhale now, but slowly;

the first true breath of the day

is always one

to savor.

I wonder what the

next one will taste like?



About claireaudient

North Carolina girl, born and raised, though now I consider Vermont to be home as well. I guess you could say I'm a migrant gypsy farmer, if you were prone to saying such things. I've played the whole society game; I've been to three different colleges, have an Associate's Degree (in Liberal Studies, or something like that), and have worked more restaurant jobs than I care to admit. Through a curious series of events, however, I've formed a different perspective on what life means to me. Instead of slaving away at a job I hate to eke out a mediocre life staring at a shiny screen, I'm living out my dream to travel while learning organic farming and sustainability practices. It's not always easy, but leaving the comforts of routine to experience the wonders of the universe was a choice I will never regret. <3

118 responses »

  1. Reading your post “On Learning How to Breathe” seems like something that is so hard yet easy for human to do. While some of us are battling life everyday others are abusing it and not taking into consideration how lucky we should be feeling to be alive. Great point emphasizing breathe as a life. :)

  2. I don’t realize I how much I hold my breathe until I take a nice refreshing inhale, like you described. And yes, everything connects. If I can I will even shut my eyes for a second and really feel it.

  3. Lovely. Practice ‘pranayama’ and you will perhaps write a bit more of breathing :-)

    I would like to ask you the same question I asked the other person. How long did it take for your to write this one?

  4. very refreshing . we really need to take a break to enjoy this small but a significant activity. a truly touching poetry! only reading and imagination of it is giving such a great relief.so doing it will create wonders. .GREAT WORK……..

  5. It reminds me to keep reminding my fiance to breathe when she has her panick & anxiety attacks. Which is so vital for self control as it’s one of the main things she tends to forget about. Yet it’s so simple for others & myself. Breathe just Breathe. ….

  6. When I got real sick I concentrated on breathing. It got me through for that is all I concentrated on. In and out, over and over again. I never realized how important this function is. Having asthma I could not breath and by working at it I survived.

    • no worries :) i don’t practice it that often (mainly when I get the chance to participate in a yoga class) but I don’t doubt its effectiveness! Anything that stimulates the pituitary gland is a ‘go’ for me :)

  7. Thank you for your inspiration!
    I’m very relax when I read it.
    I’m living in Japan, but I can feel as you as when I breathing.
    Thank you very much! Maria

  8. While reading this lovely poem, I couldn’t help but be more conscious of my breath. Breathing is a sign we are alive and the breath is about right here, right now…the present moment. Thanks for your wonderful words!

  9. Wonderful writing..so simple and clear..and as I was reading I was totally aware of my breathing without even thinking about it. Beautiful. Thanks

  10. This is so wonderful! Reading it I became so much more aware of my own breathing… very inspiring piece :)

    • well, the process is different for everyone….but slowing down and focusing on your breath is a good practice! It help distract your mind from what’s making you angry, and allows your body to calm down a bit. Then it’s easier to regroup and act more rationally. Anger and stress take a toll on your body…being happier is being healthier! thanks for reading!

  11. Wonderful words. Reminds me of what Jon Kabat-Zinn says – and I am paraphrasing here – if we wake up, if we are breathing, and we are alive and that is good. More is right with us. I re blogged this on oursacredbreath.

  12. Ahhhh…how important and refreshing it is to have a reminder to breathe! It’s amazing to notice how often many of us are holding our breath and don’t even realize it. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Wow. That’s beutiful. Makes me want to leave the screen right now- head for my yoga math and just breath…

  14. yea but lots of people “just breathe” without being able to be grateful for their ability to breathe.
    um, focus on breathing, perhaps.. is one of the best way to be grateful :)

    keep on breathing..keep being grateful :D
    anyway, nice poetry :D

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