Arrows. Orangutan. Patience.
(This is an ongoing story. If you want to start at the beginning, click here.)
Yesterday morning, when I stood in front of AE for my assessment, she grabbed a red marker off her shelf and started drawing arrows on my right foot and leg. The arrow tails curved around my extremities; it looked like the work of a weatherman indicating wind patterns.
“Why are you drawing on me?”
She explained that there are things she can understand about my foot patterns when I’m standing up that aren’t as evident when I’m lying on the table. “They're going to remind me what to do,” she said.
She worked slowly and methodically on my foot and I watched her expression as she did. Sometimes she closes her eyes and looks like she's a musician playing a long, slow ballad. Other times she looks like a hunting dog, sniffing around for just the right spot.
There are many sessions where she doesn’t even touch my foot, but yesterday, she had her way with it and for a while it was pretty awful.
Sometimes AE tells me stories to take my mind off of what she’s doing to my body.
Yesterday, she told me a story about a woman who came to see her that looked like an orangutan. “Her arms hung down to here,” said AE, “and she had virtually no waist.”
Then she went on to tell me that in three sessions – THREE – the woman’s arms fell to a regular place above her knees and she had a normal-looking torso.
I know she chooses stories that she believes will give me hope, but often they just depress me. Why, why, why, why, why? Why is there an orangutan who got better in three sessions and it’s taking me forever?
On the way home, I listened to an audio book from my favorite Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron, and guess what she was talking about?
If this experience is nothing else, it is an instruction in patience. Which is probably the part of me that needs the biggest fix of all.