Resumé | Abstract
In sublime moments in practice we may be brought close, incredibly close, to what normally remains at a distance. Or we may momentarily discern what has always been before us and so close to us that it has never before been truly noticed. Two different nursing situations show how meaningful, yet ineffable the sublime in practice can be when it is evoked and how difficult it is to articulate aesthetic dimensions of nursing practices without covering them over with theory and theoretical knowledge. We consider the experience of taken for granted breathing when suddenly severe breathlessness appears. What is it to be present to those in extremis, to be close to the inside workings of human bodies? Using Jean-Luc Nancy’s (1993) understanding of the sublime, we consider how the experience of a patient’s breath can be existentially revelatory of nursing practice.