In this anniversary week of the beginning of my life, I am elbow deep in the monstrous task of breaking the cycle of some specific self-sabotaging patterns in my life.
There are big patterns, and there are small patterns. There are obvious patterns and there are insidious patterns. Some are laughingly visible to those who know me well, yet remarkably hidden to me. But today, I see.
This cycle-breaking work is exhausting stuff and not for the faint of heart! It is not to be done alone, that’s for sure, and will never happen in the company of the unsafe.
Because of the merciful interjection of a small host of angel-people into my life in the last five years, a metamorphosis is taking place and pretty much revolutionizing every little part of me. From the files in my office, to the invitations I respond to. From the hair on my head to the muscle fibers of my core.
The renewal of my body and spirit is due, in part, to the healing impact of the massage therapy training and practice I began a little more than two years ago. An Iyengar yoga class offered at my downtown YMCA has deepened this renewal. And a steady stream of organic new acquaintances continues to beautifully, gradually reconstruct my thinking and living patterns.
But today, a specific liberating gift came to me through my second session of acupuncture (which I used to fear) in the community clinic down the road from my little cottage.
Thirty-four tiny needles “puncturing” my skin released sweet waters inside me this morning.
And now I sit in my friend Andy’s fine, new Barista Parlour, releasing my first public writing about this journey to you. The last poem I released to the general public happened in 1983. I suppose it is time.
Liberation’s Unassuming Gifts
Sweet liberation came to me today
with his unexpected gift.
His act of kindness,
borne from the un-tainted place you know exists,
slips into your hands, your body,
and in a wisp, the giver flies,
leaving you rightly alone.
In its receipt, something in you breaks free!
You weren’t planning this! the sudden
loosening of some internal shackle.
A stream opens,
like a branch and its collected leaves
coming unstuck from their rocky perch
in the joint of a winding stream,
and, with a rushing force,
waters run and release a new channel.
it leaps forward,
and the sweetness of the relief
falls warm over the usually-restraining
edge of your lashes,
streaming quietly down your cheeks.
Inexpressible gratefulness (words only
diminish) glows through your whole body, inside your
mind’s eye, silently bursting!
your chest swells in its sweetness.
you have been liberated
by the gift
of this unassuming person,
this brief act of kindness,
and like a butterfly released from a dark cage into
a sun-dappled meadow of wildflowers,
you are now free to play,
and you never have to go back
to that cage.
Linda Sack is an artist, musician, massage therapist and cottage maker thriving, at long last, in East Nashville, Tennessee. In 2009 after a second corporate layoff experience, she got the message and determined to carve out a living from the work of her own hands, unbeholden to The Man. Linda now practices therapeutic massage out of a little neighborhood cottage (www.CottageMassage.com), plays the Mountain Dulcimer, grows her own organic food, hosts international guests, and writes about The Healing Path and life after layoff. She attributes her recent healing to these providential gifts: massage therapy training and practice, organic food and essential oils, equine therapy, swimming and aqua aerobics, Iyengar yoga, and the kindness of a host of angel-people advocating for her.
Editor: Ryan Pinkard