Breathing Out Fire – by C Haynsworth



Breathing Out Fire

Sadness and fear crackled in my solar plexus until they ignited. Blazes of anger began raiding my belly like ants on fire. My body knew no better than to burn after the latest round of bad news—dark corners, muffled cries, and bodies being hijacked. My instinct screamed, “It’s time to claw, to scratch, to fight back!” From brain to glands to muscles to organs, the heat and tension invaded each cell. My mouth threw curses to the empty room.

After a few forever minutes enflamed on the inside, my lungs could no longer hold all the steam. My body, still searing, decided to breathe again. And after focusing my mind’s attention on a few choppy inhales and exhales through my nose, a thought emerged from the ether: somewhere around my nostrils, the air from my lungs transformed into the air of the world. With the realization of my out-breath, clenching aloneness of anger lessened just enough for me to commit to more slow, deeper breaths.

In the center of my belly, knots continued to tangle but I imagined my breath as spaciousness. With my next inhale came a question: is my breath the same substance as sky? My chest heard this question and the throbbing there began to soften. My body was still burning, but the fire was no longer alone. Tiny beads in the corners of my eyes started to gather into raindrops of tears.

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