Acupuncture day. When I got to the clinic I sat and wept at the harmony in the waiting room. Every object I looked at had beauty, from the ceramic water bottle with embossed ferns, to the spiraled lampshade, to the urn with stones and shells. The harmony in the room highlighted its absence in the world outside, and also in myself. You can function for a long time in the absence of harmony, but today when it showed itself in the acupuncturist’s waiting room, harmony touched me with its importance, its kindness.
The practitioner had one of those beautiful faces full of warmth; an indefinable tenderness I see in some Quebecois men. He was a neuropathic doctor for many years before learning acupuncture. He was funny: we established that due to my years of working cerebrally as a writer, my life force has left my legs and is trying to make a getaway out through my head. He would work on my feet and kidneys, as had my naturopath, who referred me.
I have begun to consult these people because I feel stress over small things, though people claim I appear calm. I have always felt the beautiful things of the world are imperiled, and that calamity knocks on the door. Sometimes this is useful knowledge, but at other times you want a break. I don’t drink or take drugs, so I’m trying to gain the wisdom that will let me balance this knowledge of good and evil. According to the acupuncturist, I need to learn to turn the mirror of my compassion in new directions.
He said he would treat me twice with needles, then once without. During the latter time he would teach me how to work on pressure points myself, then he would be finished with me. If I wanted to learn how to attain a level of health and peace without having to work on the pressure points, I would have to go to another level of instruction elsewhere. (I have plans for that in February.)
The needles were thin and appeared copper-tipped. He left me alone with needles in my feet, legs, side, arms and head, for fifteen minutes. It felt longer. Two-thirds of the way through, I began to notice heat being directed at my feet by a lamp at the base of the platform.
“Has that heat been constant since you began?” I asked when he returned, by which time the radiance felt hot. He laughed, and said it had. He told me to take notice of other new abilities to feel, in the couple of weeks before I see him again.
My daughter arranged the pins on the pincushion below so beautifully for me that I keep it intact. I think it illustrates what I hope will be the harmony of the needles.