To Keep Breathing

I know the human heart,
how inside it’s lined with stars.
I say never trust anyone,
but then I always do.

Who is the one who has to
drag me down? And what is this
about? Everything falls apart;
I wish I knew the trick,

the one that helps you face
the truth. I’m making up my mind
to fight against the tide; maybe
I’ll get what I want this time,

learn how to read my own
breathing. Maybe this time, I’ll
get it: the trick of how I feel—
how to be that kind of girl.



And so we’ve come to the end (of this month-long musical exercise, anyway). I will spare you the lengthy fan-girl explanation of why I absolutely had to close with a Garbage song, and will just say that this band has been hugely important to me for the past decade-and-a-half. Their music has carried me through countless phases in life, and now lead singer Shirley Manson is my role model when it comes to Fierceness Past Forty (to put it in obnoxious women’s magazine-like terms). I aspire only to be myself, but I would love to borrow a little of her take-no-prisoners approach to everything she does, her willingness to let her guard down and say what she thinks, and — yep yep yep — her style, too,

The Trick is to Keep Breathing” seemed like a fitting song to close this month and this series. I have thought of this phrase often over the years. At one point when I was working out a lot, this was always the song that came on just as the treadmill was slowing to a stop. It felt like Shirley Manson was right there with me as some kind of rock goddess/personal trainer/spirit guide. The trick is to keep breathing, so I will — and I hope you will, too.


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