Breathing Hard


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Some days are just harder than others.

Nothing throws a building into a frenzy like a bank of broken elevators. I arrived on campus today for a recording session to discover that both of the elevators in the main building of the cinema school we out of order: an annoyance, to be sure, but doubly so when you need to get down to the post production lab in the basement that is typically only accessible by elevator. (You can go OUT by way of the stairs, just not IN.)

Since I was early I took the stairs up to the graduate lounge and to the faculty offices in the top floor to see who was around. Then I tried the basement on a whim and found the door open but the recording stage still locked.  All in all it was only a few flights of stairs, but I caught myself wheezing a bit as I climbed. Out of shape, perhaps. The weather lately has been uncannily clear: the mountains visible in the distance on my morning commute were sharp and dark instead of the soft, faded profile they usually trace out against the sky. I resolved to go for a run later that day.

The wheezing was new, but the feeling of tightness in my chest has been lingering at the edges of my attention for a few weeks now. I attributed it to the stress of starting classes: the proverbial ‘weight on my chest’ feeling.

Classes aside, though, my sense of the first few weeks of 2015 has been rather fraught with unsettled feelings and troubed times. Most of the news, so far, has been from friends and most of the news has been bad: friends losing houses, friends losing jobs, friends losing pets. Heartaches. Heartbreaks. Heart attacks. My heart goes out to them.

I did end up going for a run, but it was unsatisfying and exhausting. I never managed to achieve that golden state of No-mind that makes running so satisfying most of the time: every step felt like heard work. But I did the run and I finished, so whether it was satisfying or not it was at least complete. Maybe tomorrow the burden will lift and the news will be good and the breathing will be easy again.

I live in hope.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on January 22, 2015.

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