Hello, frustration! This morning it woke me up, coursing through my limbs at dark:thirty.
Hard to ignore. Certainly hard to sleep through. When I finally “cried Uncle” and got up, I was tapped ever so lovingly on the shoulder by this line:
tending as all things do, toward silence…
Ahhh. And then I remembered (with a little help from
above Google) the poem by Mary Oliver from whence my love-line came:
When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades;
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
I look on time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence.
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
When it’s over I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
~ * ~
Oh my dear body, I have been full of argument. And oh but I have been feeling frightened. Something to do with time and how it keeps passing at warp speed measured in days, even hours, when it used to be years. (Um, what year are we again?)
Something about how I’m doing too much of the wrong thing, and not enough of the love thing. And how the two are all tangled up and I can’t tease them apart. And in all this I need to support myself.
That last thought is so heavy it could crush rocks.
Playing Mood Detective
Sweet pea, shall we play? Want to invite your old pal and superhero Curiosity to play Mood Detective with you?
OK. What happens when you believe this thought? How do you live your life when you believe: “I need to support myself” ?
I worry. And then what I do is motivated by fear.
I feel alone. And I jump into the future and worry about dying alone.
And I wake up early and can’t sleep.
And I spin. Not like in a Sufi dance of joy, no. More like a piece that has sprung loose from a powerful moving machine… it’s still spinning like mad but on its own.
Oof! So hard!
And how does it feel in your body when you’re thinking that thought?
I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders.
It feels like there’s static on the screen of my mind.
Nothing is clear.
Sometimes my neck hurts.
And sometimes I feel it in my butt.
Ow! OK. Could something else be as true or truer than this pain-in-the-butt thought “I need to support myself”?
What do you mean?
Well, as I see it you are an adult and you are running a business and you need to pay bills and keep things moving. But when you are crushed with this thought you are usually only looking at things from one perspective, and, not to put too fine a point on it, that would be the perspective of doom.
The thought “I need to support myself” really doesn’t seem to be serving you, does it?
Because I know for a fact that you’d still work and do the things you love, even without that thought.
Yes, probably you’re right.
Can you tell me about those?
Those things that you love to do?
Read and write poems and essays and stories.
Connect with people… people I’ve met and people I’ve never met and people I’ve not yet met.
Sing and dance. Pretend I am Leonard Cohen’s female backup.
Be a Massage Therapist.
Play Mood Detective. Teach my clients to be mood detectives so their bodies don’t have to express their stress as pain.
Wow. That’s a lot of things to love! So, what else could be as true or truer than your original pain-in-the-ass thought: “I need to support myself” ?
I need to allow myself to be supported.
Can you tell me about that?
Well, truth is, I am not alone. Not really. I often think I am, but I’m not. Yesterday morning I called my friend at 6:30 a.m., crying. I woke him up and he listened and was there. It was 5:30 for him!
Oh yes. That is support. Not to mention love.
And I have other dears that love me. All over the world.
Yes, you do.
And I have clients whom I adore and by all accounts, they seem pretty much to like me too. They pay me and I get to help them.
You know, come to think, how I help them is all about this.
Sometimes I will hold parts of my clients’ bodies. Like their head, for example. I make a fulcrum with my fingers and place my finger pads and tips right where their head meets their neck, atlas on axis, at the crux of so much of the pressure in their neck and jaw… And I wait. And listen. And hold. All the while their head is resting in my hands.
I can tell how much their neck tension is easing by how fully they let me hold their head. Sometimes, for whatever reason, a client will keep holding the weight of their head. Mostly it’s not conscious at all. Maybe they are trying to help me. They simply can’t, for whatever reason, in that moment allow the full weight of her head to rest in my hands.
Often, just showing up and bringing awareness to how it all is is enough to change it. I can tell when a client rests because I feel the weight of their head–ironically heavier and lighter at once–in my hands. Often their jaw and face softens at the same time. It moves me in a way I can’t explain, to get to be there when that happens.
Oh my, Heidi! Do you have any openings today? I want you to hold my head! OK. Where were we?
We were playing with the thought “I need to support myself.” And I was noticing that when I believe that thought I am not allowing Life–by way of the ground, the bed, the pillow, the figurative or actual hands under my head–to support me.
Gravity comes to mind, too. That fantastic force of this our earth, not letting me up and float away into the la-la-land. When I am worrying, I have usually forgotten about the loving force of gravity pulling me ever back to the ground, back toward darkness, “tending as all music does, toward silence.”
~ * ~