The Exhale

April 9, 2020

I can almost imagine what it would feel like. The wood panels, dusty but strong, under my hands. The light, streaming in from wide windows. The rustle of leaves, the chatter of birds, the sounds of life equal parts isolating and welcoming.

To my mind, it would feel… like an exhale. A breath long held finally sighing out your lungs, the stagnant air dissipating in the breeze. Muscles tight from years of grit teeth, hunched shoulders, curled fists… simply giving way.

It would feel like peace.

There is a joy in simplicity. An over-stated, tired cliche, yet so often and so easily forgotten. There is a joy in the work of hands, in a day that ends with the setting of the sun, in solitude with companionship only when you choose.

It doesn’t sound like too much to ask for— peace, simplicity.

An artlessness that I have spent my whole life seeking.

I may not know, truly, what I want in the physical sense. In the “dreams” sense, the “ambitions” sense, the “capitalist-striving,” “career” sense.

But I know I want a life of easy breaths. Of days with work that will not shatter the earth in order to recreate it, but that will gently heal. Bring comfort and life anew. To a soul, any soul. It would be enough, I think. For me.

Disjointed thoughts seem to be the theme of late. Fragments of images and sensations and wishes, plucked from my mind in near stream-of-consciousness. I do not know how to make sense of it all yet. How to tie it all together into a coherent prose.

So I leave you with this last fragment, perhaps the clearest one so far:

If asked what I am working towards, I can only say: the exhale.

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