Author & Teacher

Just breathe…out

For my writerly and creative friends…
Empty buckets are on my mind, lately, thanks to the wonderful Darcie Friesen Hossack’s blog post about writers needing to “fill their buckets”…
I have used the analogy with a few friends of mine (not all of them writers-we all need our buckets filled). Maybe some writers just do the kind of navel-gazing that makes us more aware of the need. Many people know something is missing and are not sure how to find it.
To follow through with the bucket idea-if you need to fill it up to give you the life and experience that you crave, that you need, to exist, to write, then it stands to reason that the writer’s creativity comes in the process of emptying that bucket (Sometimes through a slow leak, sometimes through a gushing gash).
This also comes up in the expressions we use when we write-“tear my hair out” is one I hear quite often. I’ve been known to say “I bled out all over the page”, or, on tough days, that my story is being “ripped from me”. That feeling of being emptied, drained, is obviously fairly universal. I know sometimes I finish a day of writing feeling like I’ve run a half-marathon (I’ve never run a full, but I know how I felt after the half.)
Anyway, it probably says too much about me that I have thought so much about it. But this morning as I did my wii yoga, I realized that taking a breath is a lot like filling the bucket.
It seems obvious, that taking a breath would fill you with energy and life, with oxygen. With inspiration. Giving you what you absolutely need, giving you something to draw on. “Take a deep breath” we tell people who are upset. But they can’t hold it, they need to breathe out to find comfort.
Exhalation, is not just our bodies getting rid of CO2 and clearing the crud.
In the yoga I do, we exhale on the stretch; in weightlifting, on the lift – on the toughest part of the movement. In boxing, you blow out on the punch. In labour, it’s not the inhalation that helps with the pain, it’s the (many) exhalations. Breathing out lets us push forward, improve, break through.
That’s where the strength comes from-breathing out. Which you cannot do without breathing in. We are conditioned to see only breathing in as the renewal, as starting over-but maybe that’s just because you need to do that to find the power you look for.
Without the inhalation (aspiration, in French, interestingly) there is, literally, nothing.
Fill the bucket.
Breathe.
Write.
Book of the Week: No Fixed Address – Aritha van Herk
Song of the Week: Slower Dear – Bob Schneider

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