Reggie took a shine to my ball of knitting today…in New Age speak, maybe it has “good energy.” His owner and I talked for about half an hour…I told him about my search for a spool with a crank to wind up the line every day so I don’t pull another muscle in my neck. And my dream of finding a decrepit row-boat for an art installation. At his wife’s request, he finally sold his brittle 83 year old canoe that he was forever repairing to greater and greater frustration. He said he didn’t know what to do now without a project. I told him it will come to him, now that he’s made the space. As he turned to go, he said, “You’ve got the two big snoopers on the job. G. and I will ferret this one out for you…a row boat and a hose reel.” I’d knit an hour and a half, and my massage was calling me…Down the hill I went to the Chrysalis Inn, and booked myself a 30 minute chair massage to heal my sore neck. The cashier handed me a key with the word “Ritual” on it…The quote on the back hit the bull’s eye of my heart.
Later the cashier woman came and asked if I’d be okay with a table massage for the same price? “Are you kidding?! I’d love it!” was my incredulous reply. (Good thing my massage therapist’s wrists didn’t take well to chair massage.) I found myself in a waiting room with a waterfall, wearing a fluffy robe, sipping Creme de Earl Grey tea, and munching almonds and apricots while I basked in the warmth of the toasty fireplace. Shhhhh. This is Bellingham’s best kept secret, my friends.
Can a massage be a spiritual experience?
At the end of thirty minutes, I set my feet back on the ground, and I was a new human. My ears were ringing, and my balance was off, like after a deep hour of meditation. I showered and shaved with the complimentary razor and shampoo, then slathered my body with white tea and ginger lotion. My inner hedonist was delighted! This is one of the reasons I am a terrible candidate for a nun…but make a good artist. Artists are permanently swinging between extremes–savoring a glass of fine wine at an opening, then taking the bus home to cook lentils for dinner. Having gotten used to this life, I don’t mind it anymore. It just didn’t work well when I was trying to have it all–the home with the ocean view, the prestigious career and the artistic calling. Something had to give…
Hint: it was not the artistic calling.