Un sospiro = A *SIGH....
“A sigh is an audible exhalation of air arising from tiredness or emotion, usually sadness, which itself could be stemming from feelings of sadness or futility. A sigh can also arise from positive emotions such as relief. Some people do it just to cool down organs or suppress emotions”. -Wikipedia
A recent stay at Marriott’s Springhill Suites presented something intriguing. A card on the mirror in the sitting room asked: “Can you sigh backwards?” And below mentioned the smoke-free policy, or some request to refrain from smoking, or something like that. I wasn’t quite sure how they went together? Were they asking, based on a sigh being a relief from stress or a sign of relaxation, ‘how can you be relaxed fully if you are inhaling a cigarette?'” Perhaps.
But the way I first took it, I guess, was as the opposite of a sigh of exasperation or a sigh of frustrated resignation. I thought they meant, of the “backward sigh,” the thought of enjoying life by your breath being taken away, or the way you gasp in a breath with delight at a wonderful event or a sweet surprise, like Will Smith said in the movie, Hitch (2005),
“Life is not about how many breaths you take, it’s about the moments that take your breath away.”
How many ways can you sigh, anyway?
Sighing does show up during both stress and negative emotions like panic or pain and extreme fatigue (Tredessa and I have both been accused of sighing a lot). But also during positive emotions like ralaxation or relief (*whew!).
But since you actually have to breathe in to be able to exhale a sigh, I am not quite sure how you can actually “sigh backwards,” as the Marriott sign seems to suggest (would you have to breathe out first and then in??), though, if my original thoughts were to hold (which they should, I believe, naturally), I kind of like the reminder. Look for the “catch your breath” moments in life. They are they ones to hold onto and cherish!
A *sigh in a song
Turns out there are quite a few songs about sighing. Here is one I like. It sounds like a sigh, too. A really good, long, soft sigh.
“Must be doin’ something right
I just heard you sigh
You leaned into my kiss
And closed those deep blue, need-you-eyes…”
– Billy Currington, Must Be Doing Somthing Right (see video on Youtube, rated O-my-ZOWIE for Billy loves his muscles! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbQfE2Oi6Wo&feature=av2e )
And then sometimes you’ve just been waiting to exhale…Sighs in scripture:
There will be a highway called the Holy Road. No one rude or rebellious is permitted on this road. It’s for God’s people exclusively— impossible to get lost on this road…The people God has ransomed will come back on this road. They’ll sing as they make their way home to Zion, unfading halos of joy encircling their heads, Welcomed home with gifts of joy and gladness as all sorrows and sighs scurry into the night.
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans…
I hate all this silly religion, but you, God, I trust. I’m leaping and singing in the circle of your love; you saw my pain, you disarmed my tormentors, You didn’t leave me in their clutches but gave me room to breathe. Be kind to me, God— I’m in deep, deep trouble again. I’ve cried my eyes out; I feel hollow inside. My life leaks away, groan by groan; my years fade out in sighs…
I call to God; God will help me. At dusk, dawn, and noon I sigh deep sighs—he hears, he rescues. My life is well and whole, secure in the middle of danger…