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In the treatment room, only recliners. A piano-cello fusion floats at ceiling level. I’m overcome by that moony feeling, not sleepy exactly. It’s as if you were to lift your arm slowly, it might continue to rise on its own. Three needles in each leg, two in each hand, one in the forehead and crown.

This atypical day is closeted for a time now, in an aura of contentment, with no intrusion. The mind, when it’s pinned down, gets to wander, temporarily relieved of the body’s agenda of deadlines, headlines, and grief. Those needling things cannot be the focus for this little while—no need to be on guard in this space.

Your index finger slowly taps the armrest, creating its own rhythm. Veins on the back of your hand look like a roadmap. The need here, in this detached space is to search for what is worth pursuit. Not the typical energy needed to stand up, to get things accomplished. Rather, it’s the energy needed to still, to isolate, and compartmentalize.

I had heard of something called zuihitsu, translated as follow the brush—a letting go let’s say, that allows the fingertips to roam a keyboard in search of uncontrived rhythms, or to sketch with a pen, something lovely and unfettered. Whatever the heart feels might bring power, that will surge in unexpected directions. When untended, it could bend and flare beyond reach.


Jean Cassidy     Spring, 2024

Photo credit: Unsplash

art and education, poetry, wnc artists, wnc poetry, women writers


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