Pause, breathe, rest ;

Running uphill, battling against the wind, I am always grateful for the chance to pause and rest as I wait for the traffic lights to change in my favour.  

The motivation to run is slow to return. My target is not ambitious: a reasonably paced parkrun when it returns next month. Just 5k, run without a break. I have a regular 5k route. It’s punctuated by opportunities to rest as I wait to cross the road.

Semi-colon moments; a time to pause and breathe. I love the beauty of a semi-colon.  I know that not everyone shares my view; we talked about them at our writers’ group.

‘You punctuate like an accountant,’ said J, a beautifully poetic writer.

‘Do you mean my writing is as exciting as a financial risk report?’ I asked. ‘Or, as dull as a debtors listing?’

 ‘No, I mean you’re very precise.’ She laughed; I took it as a compliment.

And now, today, I discover another benefit of semi-coloning. It really is a chance to pause, to take a deep breath. Less final than a full stop, stronger and longer than a comma; it’s used when a sentence could have ended, but didn’t. It’s been adopted as a symbol for mental wellbeing; it’s an antidote to the full stops of anxiety, panic and even suicidal thought.

I’m proud to celebrate the semi-colon; pause, breath deep and carry on.


One thought on “Pause, breathe, rest ;

  1. Sally, this is a lovely ‘pause, breathe, rest moment’; a perfect semicolon interlude. And it does give the semicolon a firmer footing in our daily lives, allowing us both a symbolic and very real opportunity to take a deep breath. I too am all for the semicolon – although I also rather like the comma, full stop, ellipsis, em dash (which sadly isn’t always readily available on all keyboards.), etc. (like, etc too.) And as J commented the ability to use use punctuation precisely doesn’t in any way negate your ability to be creative. (If she didn’t quite say this, I know she meant it.)


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