On the weekend, during a family trip to Bristol, I got to shake the hand of the man who inspired the name and concept of my blog: How to Breathe Deep.
I’ve been listening to Kevin Devine for over 10 years, thanks to my dad filling the house with his music and buying me my first ticket to see him perform live in Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff in 2009. This show (and every one since) has blown me away. Seriously, this man was made to create music.
Devine’s album, Brother’s Blood, is a phenomenal piece of work. It’s emotionally powerfully and lyrically sublime. The title track is, of course, incredible and the one that everyone can’t wait to hear at the live shows. However, there’s another song that has always stuck with me: Hand of God. And, in particular, the lyric:
“So when you breathe, breathe deep,
Breathe in greedily, like you might never breathe again.”
It’s a short, simple way to remind yourself to stop, breathe deep and take in what’s around you, because one day you won’t be able to.
The lyric hit me in such a profound way and I’ve carried it with me since the first time I heard it. But, I always had a niggling feeling that there was something in the words, something creative that I could do with them. It just took a while to find the right fit… until I started this blog.
So, before Kevin Devine took to the stage at Bristol’s Rough Trade, I started a conversation with him. I was feeling brave (perhaps something to do with the numerous pints the family had already shared) and told him about how I set up the blog, and the lyric that inspired me to do so.
Humble as ever, he thanked me and shook my hand. He even went on to give me a shout out on stage before singing Hand of God. I had to pinch myself!
So, that’s the history of how How to Breathe Deep came to be. My hope is that the content I create helps people to pause, create space in their life for things that are good for them, and find the courage to keep moving forward – just as the lyric has done for me.