Howl by L.A. Kmen

Around this time last year I was at a yoga class in San Diego. Life had hit a combination of speed bumps and what felt at the time like very giant potholes.

The instructor/leader/peaceful beautiful person at the front of the room had us breathing. Basic. Lay on your mat and breathe. My favorite kind of yoga class. Then she told us to breathe deeply, out loud.

And a funny thing happened. I noticed I could hear everyone around me, but my loud breathing didn’t make any sound. And since I was already in a bit of a funk over life (and spending way too much time alone thinking), I took this tiny moment to heart and ended up stewing for a long while on metaphors for why my breath felt like it had no presence in a room full of other people breathing.

During the months after that, while I worked to pull myself back out of the potholes and get my act together, this moment and metaphor-ing stayed with me as a reminder that I wanted to live in a way that felt “out loud.”

I don’t have a long artist statement about “Howl” but it was painted out of this experience of wanting to be present, to not feel muffled by criticism and noise, and to breathe loudly into our dreams.

Howl by L.A. Kmen