• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 12
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“Breathe through your nose!
Not your mouth!” She shouts.
I’m trying my best, but the wind
doesn’t relent ― my nose
has become a river, silted,
and air has to find another way.
My mind, blocked, moves
no further forward; every thought stops.
Clinging to the edge of the cloud,
I watch the blue sky turning grey,
the hills morphing into a palimpsest,
and weightlessness seeping into this final day.
Woozily, I lower myself down to earth,
my sense of relief is almighty
when I feel my feet hitting solid ground.
Metaphysics and ontology can wait,
there’s lunch to cook, washing to hang out
and kindness to show.
The belief that I can step outside of Nature
is farcical: How can I try and deny
my ‘self’ as embodied? No, I can never
rise above the concreteness of this world.
And yet, I’m not just materiality ― mere body ―
I am forever an unanswerable question to my Self.
Alighting from the cloud is the first step
in my search for a hinterland:
Shall I look for ladders, open gates,
or a winding staircase?
No, I’d like to meet words, sentences
and whole conversations,



where selves are formed, trees planted,
and air circulates,
while a weight is lifted off my back.
Now I see Kierkegaard beckoning,
and with ‘fear and trembling’, I accept
his invitation, to wander, to ponder,
to take in air:
“Not the mouth! Breathe through the nose!”