Thursday, April 05, 2007


So, this was the week of my first Acupuncture session. After a series of questions about the qualities of my ailments and frequent measuring of the various pulse points in my wrist, he finally got around to puncturing me with a few pesky little needles, first into the flesh of my back, and then into my feet. Apparently, I have an imbalance in my system, the left hand pulse not being in balance with the right. As most of my complaints occupy the left side of my body, this does have a certain sense of being true. He also said that this, and a tendency in my body to overheat, were symptoms indicative of an internal conflict. I thought 'tell me about it', since teenage I’ve felt internally at war or in a constant turmoil, restless and frustrated with myself and reality. I've been feeling particularly tense recently. It's like not really wanting to hold a hot potato, metaphorically being tossed and passed from hand to hand, hoping it will become cool. So, there is a lot of heated internal debate going on in this area. My Buddhist practice has barely scratched the surface of it. I've learnt how to contain it, remain aware, but still not really grasp what the central issue is. The Acupuncturist asked provocatively ‘did I think I was risk averse’, to which I sheepishly replied ‘perhaps’, which was really a feeble face saving way of saying ‘yes, I am, and I'm not proud of it’.

Afterwards my back felt easier. That night I slept fitfully with restless legs, twitchy unsettling pulses of energy throbbed from my back and tingling in my left foot. The next morning I felt a bit weary, and the day at work was a struggle. By the evening I was so tired I went to bed early at 8.45pm and slept through till 6.30am. My lower back usually feels solid and rigid, it now feels looser, but tender like a fresh bruise. I still have a painful left shoulder and arm. He said for this first session he'd focus on generally re-balancing energies before going into such specific areas of discomfort.

Yesterday, having slept so well that I could launch a boat, my current predicament became all too unbearable tangible. How much I’ve tolerated, if not hated, what I’m doing at the Crematorium. How I’ve downgraded my own desires, and conformed to practical financial necessity, once again. If I am afraid to take a risk, what sort of a risk would that be! Painful life patterns,jagged and deeply etched, were prominently sticking out of a very turbulent ocean. How I move out of this into something that has more a taste of freedom I am, as ever, at a loss to know.

Last weekend, I had a delightful day out with my good friend Eugen. He’s soon to return to Germany to live in Berlin, I’ll miss him greatly, mostly for his sense of fun and the penetrating nature of conversations we invariable have. He is quite delightful and stimulating company. I drove both of us over to the Suffolk Coast,we visited Shingle Street, a beautifully bleak shingle beach, where I’ve previously done solitary retreats. Eugen and I have been there before, amazed, as ever, at such immense amounts of shingle piled in a long heap, it is quite astonishing to see.

I visited Shingle Street quite frequently when I lived in Ipswich, so I know it rarely remains as it was when I last visited. The force of storms and tides constantly adjusts its form and character, the size and shape of its banks and gullies. It's always familar but never the same, a bit like the nature of one's Self.

The day was gloriously sunny and backed by the clearest of blue skies,the wind strong and forceful. We later moved up the coast to Aldeburgh, and sheltered in the lee of a stranded boat and sun bathed for a while. Then we had two attempts at buying chips, joining the huge Sunday queues of tourists. Eventually we did get some and ate them on the beach, whilst gulls circled ravenously overhead. I suggest someone should do a case study on the cholesterol levels of seagulls living on the Suffolk Heritage Coastline. I think they might be quite high!!

Musically, triggered by the Grinderman CD, I’m enjoying re-listening to ‘The Birthday Party’ again. Punchy, with incredible feral energy they were, intriguingly, very tightly arranged, whilt also appearing so anarchic and vicious. Its like being in the same room as a frightened schizoid cat, inhuman screams and the sense of mauled flesh being ripped to shreads, YEH! VIVID!!!