I’m About Breathing. {Poem} ~ Ruth Calder Murphy

Via elephant journal
on Nov 21, 2012
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Photo: Ruth Calder Murphy

My three-year-old daughter and I were sitting together at home when she looked at me and said, “Mummy, what are you about?”

I was slightly startled by the question, and before launching into a reply, I asked her what she meant by it. She just repeated the question. I asked her how she would answer the same question for herself and she said she didn’t know.

I try never to leave a question unconsidered, nor to fob off my children with platitudes, so I went away and considered. This is my answer. At least, it’s part of my answer—an answer that will flow and change…

I’m About Breathing

I’m about breathing
and knowing the breath is mine—
even when it’s knocked out of me
by the fury of the dance.
I’m about feeling
and owning how the feeling feels.
I’m about knowing
and not knowing
and unknowing;
I’m about flowing
under burnt bridges
from mountains
to valleys,
to the wide ocean
to begin again—
flowing through years…
I’m about smiles
and tears,
and fears.
I’m about believing,
never knowing,
always being…
I’m about life
and living,
which is death
and dying.
I’m about breathing
and knowing the breath is mine.


Ruth Calder Murphy is a writer, artist, music teacher, wife and mother living in London, UK. Her life is wonderfully full of creativity and low-level chaos. She is the co-author of one published novel, The Scream, and author of several books of poetry, one or two as-yet-unpublished novels and lots of short stories. She is passionate about celebrating the uniqueness and diversity of people, questioning the unquestionable and discovering new perspectives on old wonders. She is learning to ride the waves that come along—peaks and troughs—and is waking up to just how wonderful life really is. You can visit Ruth on her Facebook page and on her website www.ruthcaldermurphy.com.


Editor: Jayleigh Lewis

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2 Responses to “I’m About Breathing. {Poem} ~ Ruth Calder Murphy”

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