This Very Breath by Daniel Wallock

this very breathI was born with a broken heart, literally. The hospital and or my childhood seemed to be a neverending time of tragedy. The smells of hydrogen peroxide and cleaning products, the fluorescent whites of the hospital and the deep reds of my tattered flesh. My body shredded with tiger-like rips and my thoughts tortured with trauma. “Your son has seven life-threatening heart conditions,” I remember hearing my doctor announce. For fourteen years my life was a mix of unending hospital reds and heart monitor beeps. Now surrounded by land, my life is a beam of light with the smell of fresh eucalyptus. My life is the sun in the morning and the winter chill on my fingers. My life is riding next to deer on my bike and hearing the sounds of owls in the sweetness of night. I am with nature and I am alive. My heart may be broken, but that only means that I have learned to appreciate the things like this very breath.

DanielDaniel Wallock is a senior at Besant Hill School in Ojai, California, where he is learning to write. Daniel, who one day plans to write a book about his life, is currently experimenting with shorter forms of nonfiction. “Breathe,” a short story encapsulating his childhood, was selected for the 2012 Marlboro College Beautiful Minds Challenge. Find out more at

  1. Beautiful Daniel!!

  2. Your writing is immediate. It send its message to the reader without tricks or games, and flies instead like a beautiful gliding arrow, sharp and fierce, into our mind.

  3. Wow, Daniel! While hiking with you today I had no idea, what lies so close to me. A pot of soul-gold. Listening to the elevate conversation you had with Jordan in the van on the way back to campus, I started to be curious. Going through my emails one more time this evening I realized that in the rush of the day your message needed more attention.
    I opened the link and … what a surprise! Thank you, congrats and keep in mind that talent must be supported by immense work and effort to guarantee success.

  4. Your Grandmother, Brenda, has shared your story from the beginning…lovely to see a happy ending….Susie and Alan

  5. Thanks so much for reading the story. I am excited about my about my first publication and so glad it connected people with my writing.

  6. Wow Daniel, your writing brought tears to my eyes. You remind me to appreciate this day, this moment, this breath, and this heartbeat. Thank you and congratulations. Well deserved! Love, Jan

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