These things can calm my heart, some days:
A clutch of dahlias from my dad
A sparky laugh
A glass of wine
Potting a plant
Singing a song
A postcard from abroad
The breeze lifting my hair from my face
A smile, shared in secret, in a crowded room
But some days, nothing calms me. Some days, pausing only gets me another gulp of air. Have you felt so uneasy that you scratched yourself to get away from the sting? Have you been here: strung out. Have you sought reassurance from the fickelest source?
How about this: my heart twisted up, upon learning that my foe has been diagnosed with an incurable disease.
And then: I recognize my own humanity, my character defects and fatal flaws, in a friend who suffers similarly.
Some days, the only thing that will calm me down is being reminded that we’re all in it together. Some days, the best way to calm myself is to calm someone else.
These things I know to be true.