On Soul-Baring Pronouncements, Epiphanies and Wild Inspiration

There is no such thing in anyone’s life as an unimportant day.

~Alexander Woollcott


There is a method to my madness.  Yesterday, I introduced you to my massage therapist, the Diabolical Dave.  I credit this man with my continuing ability to walk upright, as he worked on my poor, battered body following a bad car accident several years ago.  We became friends, and I look forward to my appointments both for the physical effects as well as for the mental refreshment.

Our friendship was born of shared interests and a commonality of thoughts.  Sometimes, we think a lot alike.  Often we bounce ideas off one another, looking for a bit of advice or some validation.  Sometimes, we amaze even ourselves.

Dave and I chat while he works his magic.  We talk about many things: our families, our selves, our day-to-day, the news, the weather, and mutual friends.  We also discuss the deep stuff like religion and politics and the meanings of life.  There’s not much that we don’t chew on for our hour of shared conversation; of course, my side of the dialogue is often punctuated with groans, teeth-gritting and the occasional profane interjection.  Dave likes to tell me jokes, and as I laugh, he pushes harder on my stubborn muscles.  It is his approach to healing and his amazing skill that I admire so much; I love to recommend him to friends and family, even though the busier he is, the farther apart my appointments become.

There is something about lying on a massage table in a state somewhere between bliss and agony that lends itself to soul-baring pronouncements, epiphanies, and wild inspiration.  This last visit, I experienced all three.  And that brings me to the subject of this post.

For one reason or another, it had been a long while since my last massage, so we had some catching up to do.  I mentioned my blog and how much I have enjoyed it.  Encouraging and supportive friend that he is, Dave expressed delight that I was writing again.  We talked about some of the posts I’d written and how my following had grown, bit by bit.  And then, Dave expressed his vision of my blog.

I trust Dave and his opinions; he is an honest man.  With him, what you see is what you get — no schmoozing, no pretense, no fooling.  So when he tells me that thinking about my blog gives him goosebumps, I believe him.  When he tells me that our conversations have helped him through rough spots in his life, I am honestly touched.  And when he laid out the flash of inspiration that came to him as we spoke, I listened.

You see, both of us have had some ugly times to struggle through in our lives.  He credits me with compassion brought forth from suffering, and he feels very strongly that this blog can be a voice of empathy.  My voice.  I was moved to hear him say that, but I had to agree.  Misery loves company, they say, but really, misery is glad to know it is not alone, because misery so often is isolating.  I’ve been there, and I know.  I would wager that most of you do, too.

So it is with this in mind that I strike out in a new direction — an additional direction.  I have designated a new category for this side of the blog: Walking Through Fire.  Each post I write on this topic will be categorized and tagged accordingly.  I will also continue to write my usual drollery as I did before.  😉

I hope you will find truth, compassion, and maybe even healing here.  I know I will.

photo credit Nick J Webb

Dave’s Diabolical Den – an Introduction

This is a poem I wrote in honor of my most diabolically masterful massage therapist, Dave.  It is only half in jest.  He said I could post it.  However, DJ has not said I could post the business card.  Actually, I haven’t asked, yet.

Disclaimer: this is not Dave’s card. This is DJ’s card.

Dave’s Diabolical Den

Welcome, all souls, to the Dungeon!
Please abandon your hope at the door!
And surrender yourself in the interest of Health
Maybe once, maybe twice, maybe more.

When you come, you know David will greet you
With a soft-spoken, “Go right on in.”
What you see is a freshly made table
What you don’t see is Dave’s wicked grin.

It’s deceptive, his comforting manner
He’s a calming and spiritual guy.
You’ve now willingly entered the mystical center
Of the spider web, Bold little Fly.

You admire the room’s decoration
And although you might not comprehend,
In no time at all, you will hear the strange call
Of Dave’s Diabolical Den.

For the devil is in all the details
From the music to soft leather mocs
This warmly lit room’s an enveloping womb;
And when you are settled, he knocks.

The warmth of the heat pad relaxes
You hear the most soothing of sounds
He happily hums as he presses his thumbs through your body
Right down to the ground.

You marvel where he finds your muscles –
You don’t really give it much thought.
Then you are reminded – and instantly blinded –
When his elbow discovers that spot.

He twists and he tweaks and he presses
He rubs and he shakes, and he pokes.
He gives one last push to the bones in your tush
While cheerfully telling you jokes.

As soon as it starts, then it’s over.
Once again, you’ve been saved by the bell.
You’re stiff and you’re sore, but you’ll come back for more
To the therapy version of Hell.

“Oh, surely you jest!” you are thinking.
Brave Reader, allow me to speak.
I’d never regale you with falsehoods, or fail you
By lodging my tongue in my cheek.

Dear Client, don’t let me dissuade you
From seeking the care that you need
I’m not here to scare you, or double-dog dare you
Just hear what I say, and pay heed.

I’ve rested my bones on this table
I’ve hollered and groaned with the best
I’ve had pain with no bruises! – The technique he uses
Would put the Marquis to the test.

I admit that it’s quite masochistic
To submit to the pain like I do.
I find it quite freeing to torment my being –
The question is – what about you?

I leave you with one final message:
Forget everything you’ve been taught.
For once you have braved through the torture of Dave
“Relaxation massage” is just rot!


photo credit dj