25 April 1921

25 April 1921

Villa Isola Bella, Menton, France

[I wonder whether you might be interested in what a tubercular patient has noticed...]

Humming: When I am resting and breathing is easy I hum. I make no attempt to sing or indeed to raise the voice at all, but just hum softly “under the breath" as they say. This gentle sound distracts ones attention from the act of breathing and I find that in a few minutes the breathing is taking care of itself and is easier and gentler. At the risk of an Americanism I do think its very well worth while for tubercular patients to "get the humming habit". Whistling is a nervous effort and singing out of the question but its not natural for a normal healthy person to make no sound other than speech - and this humming seems to break the feeling of ‘isolation’, as well as to relieve the breathing. 

[To Victor Sorapure in Collected Letters, ? mid-May.]