Pugs and Jackals

The record of 100,000 sighs by Sarah Seager

The record of 100,000 sighs by Sarah Seager

What is a sigh?

Evidently from those in the know out there, a sigh is an audible breath that is composed of three times the normal breath volume, and is something that is very normal for the average adult to do.  Great, fantastic, completely normal. But why does it happen in the first place?   This seems to be in dispute, in that some folks like Mr Webster and his dictionary go with the idea that it is a sign of relief, or on the opposite end of the spectrum it is grieving and sorrow (seems like a hell of a broad range to me).   Digging a little deeper, it is discovered that there are all manner of reasons for sighing, medically speaking of course.

Let’s bring in the doctors and see what they have to say.  To an MD, a sigh is the reset button for breathing, the disruptor that helps the lungs a tune to whatever the condition is that is occurring.   We breath at all manner of speeds and tempos, all based on what our brain thinks the body needs.  But it turns out hitting the reset button isn’t all that great if you do it too often, which was discovered in people that suffer from Panic attacks.  If you sigh to often the rhythm gets completely disrupted to the point where it becomes difficult for the body to regulate the amount of oxygen it needs, hence hyperventilation, vertigo, dizziness, and numbness in the extremities of the body.

But that is all well and fine, the mechanics of the respiratory system, and the dry definition of Mister Webster and his authoritarian attitudes about all words in the English language.

I, coming from no position of knowledge about bodies or books in the queens tongue, disagree with both notions.  They maybe right in the general sense, like we all agree a dog is a dog, even though it maybe a wolf or a jackal (and we all must admit that petting a pug is much easier than a jackal!).  I on the other hand contend, postulate, speculate, ejaculate, that a sigh is nothing more than having ones breath taken away.   It is the moment before that is crucial in the seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling of something, that completely zings the senses, leaves us breathless for a few beats of the heart, before the sigh occurs.

Just a thought, but consider it the next time you find yourself sighing.  What happened in those seconds before?  What captured your imagination, slapping it with the backside of a glove to the cortex?   What was it about the scent in the air, the part in the hair, that caused that reset button to be pushed?



About Sarah Seager

I am an artist that works and lives in the wilds of Los Angeles.
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