Did you know
The art of smiling is much more complicated
Than what we think it is.
It requires
Dedication, strength,
Time and practice.
It’s the most intricate art form
Known to man.

First step: you breathe.
You breathe, you inhale, as deeply as possible
Until you think that your lungs are going to bust.
Breathe deeper; until it reaches your heart,
The air of this world.
You let it swirl within you for a moment, just enough
So that you let it seep into your veins
Before you slowly breathe out,
Gently, gently,
You let go, before you do it all over again:
Over and over until you lose count.

Second step: you… feel.
You feel it within you.
You reach deep in you, that space –
No – you… you clear your mind,
Your heart.
Wipe away the stains,
And you focus on that dot,
The tiny dot, the dot that solves x,
The dot that answers all.
It can be hard for some to find like, like me, for example,
But it takes focus, time, patience.
Until you finally find the dot.
Focus on it.
Remember it.
Don’t lose it.

You take that dot, and you…
Extend it.
Draw it out to a thin line,
A long, long line, so long
That you forgot where it began and
Where it ended. A big, big
Circle. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
It can be a bit wobbly, a little squished here,
A little too-fat there,
But it’s okay. It’s your circle.
And you love your circle because it’s yours
And only yours.

Step four – or is it three? – you stare at that circle.
You look at it as if you’re asking questions,
Expecting answers.
And slowly, you’ll feel it.
A tiny waver at first, but it’ll
Grow, it’ll swell, bubble and blow,
Until it’s so large that it burst in your heart,
Your mind.
It’ll go with the flow, into your blood,
It’ll mix and mingle, with a slight tingle
Until it churns itself with the air of this world
That you let seep into your veins (remember?)
And that tingle – remember the tingle? –
It’ll start to get at you,
Do you feel it?

A tiny twitch,
Don’t stop it, let it do its thing.
You can feel your lips part,
Your cheeks start to quiver,
Your eyes start to glitter…
Look! Look now! A mirror
Isn’t it beautiful?

Written by Nancy Qiang, contributing edits by Isabel Li, published on 05/04/2019. Images: Pixabay via Pexels

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