Via De La Cruz: a #haibun (4/9/21): Day 9 of #NationalPoetryMonth

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I’m tired after a long week. Mira offers me a session of Integrated Energy Therapy (IET). I accept. I lie on her massage table. She covers me with its sheet and blanket. Restorative instrumental music plays from a unit she purchased. She sprays Jasmin around. I close my eyes and relax as she begins. First, she asks what my intention is, saying that I can say it aloud or silently. I choose the latter, and I say “stress relief” to myself, followed by “trust.”

I doze off. Dreams of “Breaking Bad” and “Avengers” characters arise. I hear a whistle-like intake of breath, and I realize I’m doing it. I awaken to a relaxed state. Her hands move, contorting into various positions as she touches neck, arms, hips, kidneys. I feel the subtle waves of chi flowing through me from her touch. She rotates around the table. I continue falling in and out of sleep. Then, she finishes.

I open my eyes and rise up. She has me place my hands on opposite knees as she cleanses me of excess energy. I feel a heaviness in my arms and a slight grasping at my throat, leading to a tender tightness in my chest. And I feel sad. I recognize it. The residue of all of the disappointments of a younger me. A pre-adolescent boy witnesses his Camelot home crumple through the raging of an alcoholic, emotional-abusing mother and a co-alcoholic, wife-beating father. I’ve worked through so much of this through the years. But I’ve never worked at the memories I imprinted in my own body, and as Fr. Thomas Keating says, “the issues are in the tissues.”

This arisen sorrow remains. I stay with it, instead of “forcing it back into the cave.” I sit with it, a skittish child crying in the dark. In time, I may draw closer. Touch him. Wipe a tear from his face. Embrace him. He is the echo of heartbreak I remember in muscle, blood and bone. He is what’s left of who I was, staring at the grimacing face of a menacing father. Staring at a smug, shattered mother with a fresh black eye, lying on a lenoleum kitchen floor. Desperate to stop him and shield her. Strangely satisfied that she lies there after she spent the day tearing me apart with every word. Ashamed to even acknowledge such a thought.

The exhaustion of the week remains. A fresh experience of an old sadness still unfolds. But somehow, I am already more recovered than I was before. I await to see how much more I will be.

low tide

reflected twilight

in each ripple

Mira practices Psychotherapy and Holistic healing. Visit her website to learn more.

10 replies »

  1. Frank, your sharing of the process, what percolated out, and connecting your feelings to those old entrenched memories can be so draining but so valuable in extracting their “poison” out of your system. I don’t think these treatments can work unless the person is ready to be done with them. Be kind to yourself after all that. Good to know you have a healer right there in your home. ❤


  2. A beautiful haibun Frank and a great healing experience. We hold memories in our cells and bones until we are ready to release them. Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol at times like these to help the cleansing 💙

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Strong work Frank. The honesty was very moving. Wonderful writing. I can really relate. I had no relationship to speak of with my adoptive mother, but she did not have alcohol as an excuse — she was just an emotional abuser. I found out in ny late grade school years that my adoptive mom and dad had lost a child at birth owing to my mom being extremely diabetic, the idea to adopt was my adoptive dad’s. He felt her shame over losing the baby, and perhaps her resentment that he insisted they adopt, was what caused her actions? She never relented and essentially I “moved out” emotionally at age 14, to spend most of my free time away from the house, involved with my dad in the sports I played. At 16 I began singing in a soul and doo wop band with older guys, so that took up more of my free time, even spending some nights at the “band house”, which were not uncommon in those days. My adoptive father was my savior and hero! So sorry for such a long comment Frank. Feel free to edit out all but my compliments or delete completely. What you wrote resonated powerfully with me, and I just wanted to commiserate with you. Be well. 👍

    Liked by 1 person

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