Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Rolfing Along

You cannot prevent the birds of sadness from passing over your head, but you can prevent their making a nest in your hair.
-Supposed Chinese Proverb

I had my second Rolfing session yesterday and must say it was very interesting. First, I felt a release of energy thorough my body when the hip I injured by slipping on the ice seven years ago was being deeply massaged. It was as if I had just dived into a cold swimming pool. When I dive into a chilly pool I always get a tingling sensation throughout my body the instant it hit the water and I had the same feeling yesterday.

Second, I had a memory come up as my injured right shoulder was being worked on. I was back on the Camino and in the city of Estella with the Luna Lady. My walking companions and I had gone out looking for a place to eat dinner after we dropped our backpacks off at the Refugio we were staying for the night when I met the Luna Lady. Here is how I explained what happen in my journal and on this blog.

We find a restaurant with outside tables on the Plaza de la Fueros directly across from the Iglesia San Juan; a beautiful cathedral. Sitting just behind and to the left of me is an older local woman. She has pulled one of the restaurant's chairs over to a pillar and sits looking at the church across the plaza. She is a heavy-set woman with swollen legs and feet and she is wearing a shapeless, colorless dress. Two shopping bags sit on the ground beside her.

When we first sit down I notice that a full moon has appeared above the church and when I point it out to the others at my table. The woman starts talking to me. She says, "La Luna. La Luna," pointing at the moon. I nod. She then says something I don't understand and gestures to the moon and then back to herself repeating, "La Luna. La Luna." I am not sure if she is telling me the moon is hers, or if she is telling me her name is Luna but I nod again. She continues talking to me and I shake my head to let her know I do not understand. She then ask me (I know enough Spanish to understand this) if I speak Spanish. I shake my head again and reply, "Un poco" (a little). She repeats, "Un poco?", and I nod, smile, and turn back to my friends.

As we eat our meal the Luna Lady talks to herself, the moon, and me. When she directs her words at me I turn to her and smile and nod. Half way through our dinner the Luna Lady pushes herself slowly up and out of her chair, reaches down to pick up her shopping bags, shuffles her way over to me and pats me on the right shoulder. She speaks and thinking she is telling me good night, I say goodnight back and watch her as she lumbers her way across the plaza toward the church. I feel a touch of sadness as I watch her.

The memory took me by complete surprise and plunged me into a feeling of extreme sadness, such sadness that tears filled my eyes and spilled over.

I was surprised by my reaction to this memory. Why did it fill me with such sadness? I don't remember feeling such profound sadness at the time. Maybe it was because the sadness I felt while watching the Luna Lady walk away from me all those years ago was a sadness that she had transferred to me. A sadness I did not feel deeply at the time since it wasn't mine. A sadness that I've unknowingly carried with me until yesterday. A sadness that I was finally willing to release from my body and at the same time feel completely. A sadness I no longer wanted nesting in my hair.

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