Saturday, May 13, 2006

Body and soul

I had a massage this week. I’ve been going to Jenny for years to get soothed and put back together again, but it had been more than six months since my last visit. She tut-tutted gently over the tightness around my neck and shoulders and dug deep, working the knots in the muscles around the scapula. I yelped.

“People who do massage should have regular massages themselves,” she said. “It needs to be a priority.”

“I know,” I replied through the face hole. “How often do you have one?”

A short pause. “Not as often as I ought. Every few months, but sometimes it’s longer than that.”

We contemplated our shared difficulty in allowing ourselves such a necessary indulgence, and I made the commitment there and then to have a massage at least every three months – more often if finances permit.

And it was bliss. Touch, oil, music, bliss. I floated.

Aside from self-care, an almost equally important reason to book in for regular sessions is to remind me of the full implications of what can happen during a treatment. Massage has value and I know the theoretical reasons why, but I only truly understand when I am a recipient.


Jenny works from her home, and when I arrived she put me in the open-air waiting room of her back garden while she finished with her previous client. I sat on a bench on a small, pleasantly unkempt lawn, the latter surrounded by a shoulder-high brick wall and bordered by packed flower beds: purple flowering aubrietia; forget-me-nots that matched the sky; large daisies with dark blue centres dotted with gold, and blue-white petals; a stone angel in the corner of the garden; and a purple lilac in full flower giving shade. A child’s multi-coloured rubber ball had been left on the seat next to me.

It was a sunny spring day - jeans and T-shirt weather, no need for a jacket. My winter-white feet and toes, temporarily liberated from sandals, luxuriated on the grass.


I haven’t yet mentioned here that I started seeing an ex- partner again a few months ago. We’ve remained friendly even when we haven’t been together, but I’m still somewhat surprised to report that this time around things are going very happily, in a relaxed, low-key way.

I'm well into middle-age. You need to know my history to realise what a gift this is.


Blogger Brenda said...

Reading this beautiful writing is like sitting in a garden of the fragility of colours but their fertility, their fertility, and then being massaged, relaxing and healing just a little more at that deep level... wonderful to read on a Saturday morning over my coffee, just wonderful!

1:22 pm  
Blogger leslee said...

Good news on all fronts, including the warming weather, the spring blooms, green grass, receiving massage, reconnecting with a partner - all sensual and comforting. Yes, beautifully described, and I wish you more of the same going forward.

2:16 pm  
Blogger rdl said...

Good for you Mary!you deserve it all. I just have to share with you the book I got in the mail the other day from a good friend - The Sweet Potato Queens' Field Guide to Men (Every Man I love is either married, gay or dead). The title made me laugh anyway, we'll see how good it is.
Happy Spring!

8:13 pm  
Blogger Michael Manning said...

Mary: Reading this post gave me the feeling that Robin Leach, host of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" would pop up. Glad you had a great luxurious treatment! Have a nice weekend!

1:16 am  
Blogger adagio said...

certainly, nothing much beats a good massage. except perhaps a successfully rekindled partnership.....

2:31 am  
Blogger Jessie said...

I'm happy to hear things are going well for you, Mary.

3:21 am  
Blogger Tamar said...

Wow things sound good for you. I'm injecting a bit of the spirit into my own soul if that's okay with you? I am thinking about having a massage one of these days ... I wonder when I'll allow myself to do that?


12:20 pm  
Blogger LJ said...

M. I think, at middle-age, especially when we haven't been partnered in a while relationships are so much more valued than when we're younger. For one thing, we aren't willing to compromise ourselves for a relationship as much as we might have at younger ages - and that, more than anything, narrows the field.
I'm happy to know this relationship feels good to you.
As to self-care. Amen. And good for you. It's an interesting point that you don't really understand the benefits unless you are the recipient once in a while.
Lovely piece.

4:45 pm  
Blogger MB said...

Oh, it is a lovely piece, Mary. I felt myself warm and relax while reading it, as if I were there in the garden, about to receive a massage, in amongst the blooms, and cradled in friendships... ahhh! I'm very happy for you.

5:51 pm  
Blogger zhoen said...

You inspired me to schedule a massage for myself.
May I suggest you rent yourself a dvd of As Time Goes By?

6:02 pm  
Blogger Jean said...

So lovely to read this. So evocative, and redolent of good feelings. And the photo! At first I thought I was looking at a back...

6:48 pm  
Blogger Udge said...

I'm very pleased to hear that things are going well for you, Mary. "Relaxed and low-key" sounds pretty good to me.

8:36 pm  
Blogger Sky said...

So good to hear about the new connection with an old partner. Many good wishes for this to offer you fulfilling moments to savor and all the pleasure you deserve.

Yes, massages are just wonderful gifts to ourselves. Our bodies always thank us with longer muscles and expanded range later. Even though I often feel discomfort during deep massage it is always so refreshing later when my body has loosened and relaxed.

The healing power of touch is magnificent...oxygenated blood rushing to and through the body.

Here's to hoping you can afford one a month...maybe you can work out an energy exchange with Jenny!

9:06 am  
Blogger MB said...

I'm so glad Jean said that because I thought it was a back, too, at first. A really knotted up one! And then I felt foolish for thinking so when I realized what it was.

4:10 pm  
Blogger Mary said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:11 pm  
Blogger Mary said...

Thank you all ....:-)

6:35 pm  
Anonymous kate said...

amen, sister . . . to the massage, to the drama-less love thang, and to winter white feet on a lovely spring lawn . . . :)

6:47 pm  
Blogger Dale said...

That's wonderful, Mary.

7:30 pm  

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