Friday, April 08, 2005


Find the stomach meridian. Go to the hip-bone, and it's about a hand-width navel-ward. It jogs to the outside and travels on down. Walk the thumbs along it. Skip the knee. Cruise just under the shelf of the shinbone. It ends at the big toe -- give that toe a bit of a fillip.

Her name is Cobalt. Doubt she was christened that. I seem to gravitate towards people who have renamed themselves: I have known a lot of them, in my time.

An open smile and a direct gaze. She reminds me sharply of someone I knew at Evergreen, but I can't think who. We struck our rhythm early with each other, taking turns unobtrusively reassuring Rowan that she was doing a good job (which she was.) A calm, good-humored, observant woman, smiling easily but with a certain sense of gravity behind it. Not someone you could push around.

She has the hands, wonderful hands. Strong brown hands and feet.

She left a present for Rowan, some chocolate she had found, dumpster-diving behind a bakery. "She knows all the best dumpsters," Rowan told me parenthetically. Took me back, again, to the Evergreen days. I don't know a lot of people conversant with the art of dumpster-diving, anymore. A useful skill for someone trying to make a living at bodywork.

This is my tribe. These are the people I belong with. There's so much I don't share with them. A critical habit of mind. A love of Chaucer and William Blake. A habit of reading history. A knack for mathematics and programming. All that resonates with them, not at all. But they are people for whom tracing a meridian along the body makes sense, people whose vocabulary about the body and its "winds" is as precise and detailed as their theory about it is fuzzy and vague. People who are happier thinking and communicating with their hands than with words. And above all, people who want to touch whatever is suffering.

I go to the things I love
With no thought of duty or pity

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