“Let the yoke fall from our shoulders
Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all
We are all our hands and holders
Beneath this bold and brilliant sun” ~ The Decembrists
Things have taken a surreal turn these past few days. I’ve been here before, this state of mind resonates with familiarity, and I have to take it as a natural eventuality, a purposeful manifestation, as a result. Was that last sentence awkward? Nah. It was hard to put it into words. Whatever ‘it’ is. I did pretty good. Trust me on that. I know where the trigger was; two days ago, on Thursday, in the physical therapy clinic. The therapist asked me to rotate my arms, an apparent request meant to check out the effectiveness of my rotator cuffs. So, there I stood, left arm up above, just behind the shoulder, and it would go no farther. She said to keep going. I looked at her, bemused. It didn’t hurt. Why was she asking me to move it? It wouldn’t move. That should have been obvious. There was a look of concern on her face, which for some reason turned my observation of the therapist into an admiration of a beautiful woman. She told me to do it any way I could, so I pushed a bit more and let the arm do it naturally. It came down outward from my body, down at an angle, away from my body, an adjusted kind of movement that has been so thoroughly accepted by me as to be second nature. It’s just the way it works. We moved over to a cushioned table and she had me lay down on my back. The examination ensued. Lots of fingertip probing, slow movements here, then there, back again, then over this way, and that. I had my eyes closed, wanting to put the focus of my vision inward. At one point she pulled my arm over and rested it on her right hip, where she clamped gently down on it to hold it in place, and with that secured she continued probing. There was a germ of concern about the arm, but no fear. I was distracted by the fact, and the sensations involved, that here was a very attractive woman performing an intimate encounter. The warmth where she held my arm felt healing. Sure, there was some feeling of sexuality, but the predominating feeling was that of healing. Just a simple touch can promote healing. Down near my elbow we came to discover a nerve that was not delivering pain so much as it was doing a reflexive twitch, much like your leg does when the doctor smacks your knee with a rubber mallet. “Yeah”, she said, “There’s a lot of tension in your elbow”. I told her that I had been getting some considerable pains in the elbow lately, down deep into the joint. What I didn’t tell her was that the pains were, in my memory, identical to those I got during my senior year in high school, which upon examination led the osteopathic doctor to conclude that it sure did seem like rheumatic fever, except there were no other symptoms. As it turned out I had another doctor, not quite three years later, diagnose “almost” rheumatic fever. But this time I had some powerful symptoms. I lost about twenty pounds in ten days. The ordeal was over by day ten. I’ll not go into detail except to say that I underwent a life-defining transformation. It was not especially a good one. But back to the beautiful therapist. She left me on that table with instructions for an exercise to strengthen my posture. During that exercise I became intensely emotional. Being in a room with numerous other people prevented me from letting the full emotions out. Breaking out into full tears would just not do.
Later, out in the wide open wilderness, underneath yesterday’s juniper tree, I psychically called out to the Great God Pan, asking him to show himself to me. He did this thing. It was the rising wind through the swaying dry stalks of grass. It was the faint sizzle of the juniper leaves over my head. The feel of volcanic stone, upon which I sat. I rolled a cigarette, more for the sacred symbolism of tobacco than for the calming effect the nicotine has over anxiety. The vast panorama before me opened me up as I felt the emotions involved in the feeling I had, that I have lost interest in life these days. Yet beneath this powerful feeling, which has not any ill feelings attached, I found there is a level where interest has not been lost. This is what Pan revealed to me. He had been there when the beautiful therapist was embracing my arm. He was there in response to the Goddess energy she applied toward healing. The therapist, an athlete with a dancer’s body, did stir feelings of sexuality that to my knowledge were somewhat out of context. There is a strong undercurrent of sexuality in Pan’s nature as well; the great horned god, who also carries a hidden current of gentleness. After a while I felt ready to leave the juniper tree and head back toward the car. I stepped carefully through the sagebrush obstacle course, back to the trail along the edge of the deep gorge. When I reached the trail I felt a presence and reflexively looked to my right. I found myself speaking out loud: “Hey, buddy!”. There stood a lone ram, great horns curled elegantly alongside his head. I talked to him for a short while then headed toward the trailhead.
What does it all mean? It means I have a beautiful therapist, right? It’s deeper than that. All told I have found a safe mode, if you will. My intellect tells me there is nothing left to my life, but the mythopoeic undercurrents tell my intellect that it is full of shit. That’s enough for me for now. I called out and Pan winked.
Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.