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.