Floating

it was always the same
it never changed
that moment she’d feel herself floating
whenever the bad things happened again

her mind told her it was temporary
such things always were
but 40 years after it happened
she realized that her mind simply lied to her

for what else could it tell her,
unable to help any other way?
for when those bad things happened again and again,
there was nothing she – or her mind – could do to get away

Doing Right

Tell us about something you (or a person close to you) have done recently (or not so recently) that has made you really, unabashedly proud.

Other than my little boy, whose every accomplishment makes me so happy, the one thing that I am probably unabashedly proud of is the vocation that chose me.

I’m a massage therapist – a bodyworker to some people and I specialize in pain relief and relaxation.  I entered massage therapy because of two things: the first was that everyone I worked with during my physical therapy days said I had wonderful hands, and that I should be a massage therapist.  Having grown up with a dad who did have a massage parlor of sorts as part of the gentleman’s club he owned for a few years, massage for me had the darkened connotations of dim hallways and happy endings.  Still I decided to check it out for the second reason:  to work out my issues regarding touch.

I have a history of abuse and so touch for me was really an iffy thing.  Touch to me equated sex, and nothing else.  Which meant, if I wasn’t sleeping with you, or I wasn’t getting paid to touch you (as part of your physical therapy treatment – no happy endings, of course), then I wasn’t touching you.  Period.

I was fortunate to have been blessed with two wonderful teachers when I started – Allison and John – and the gift of friendship and touch with Pam, a fellow student and later friend, who passed away three years ago from ovarian cancer, still giving massages, often for free, till three weeks before she died.  Together, they taught me the power of touch in a safe and nurturing environment that allowed me to accept new realities and truths, that a simple touch can be as powerful as the intention attached to it, and most of all, that not all touch is created equal.

These days, I don’t work the six or seven days I used to work in my private practice.  I work one to two days in my office and though I don’t have the 200 or so private clients that I used to see, I have a handful who refuse to see anyone else.  It won’t make me a rich woman working the hours I do (I also teach massage), nor provide me with a cushy retirement, but no one gets rich just giving massage, and I mean really giving massage, not buying some franchise or owning a spa – you’re a businessperson by then.

But for those of us who still do it, and like Pam, will probably keep doing it with or without pay till the day we croak, we do it because we respect and recognize the power of touch.   For the lucky few of us – practitioners or clients alike – we know how it feels when someone with the intention of pure compassion touches us.  And if I can help just one person recognize that in the way I touch them, then of that, I am unabashedly proud.

Daily Prompt

This Is No World For Little Girls

this is no world for little girls
even with their fancy dresses and sweet curls
where one by one they disappear
never meant again to reappear
like a phantasm in broad daylight
they’re there, yet they’re not
seen only when wanted, desired
then strangled, hanged, and shot
bargained, traded, cheated and sold
how can I tell little girls though so bold
that this world was never meant for them
where their very existence has them condemned

but we’re here now and we’ve a life to live
even though we do nothing but give and give
while they, they take and take some more
leaving us spent, battered, and sore
some of us left hanging in the wind
while perpetrators go free to do it all over again
what world is there for little girls
where there is no why, just where and when
broken bodies strewn in the night
smiles forever wiped away from sight
this is no world for little girls
now with torn-up dresses and weary curls.

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