The recurring hiccups were as relentless as the waves. No matter how long I held my breath, they just would not stop. Drinking water did not help. I did not have access to a spoonful of sugar. Breathing into a paper bag did not help either.
Finally, I visualized my diaphragm, which is mainly a long flat muscle under your ribs, floating horizontally on a still blue sea. To my delight, the hiccups settled down like the bobbing raft, I envisioned.
A few nights ago, I could not get my mind to settle down. As I was breathing in trying to count my breaths, I realized that the sounds resembled a gentle tide flowing up on the beach, only to retreat before returning with the next breath. When I inhaled, the water rippled up the sand. The exhale was the ocean ebbing. As I got into listening for the inhales and the exhales my mind quieted and I fell peacefully asleep.