The Tale #34 - Seeking Answers
I called Judy Stern the next day. She was an Alexander Technique bodywork person who worked in the quaint little town of Rye in Westchester County.
The Alexander Technique, in a nutshell, is a mind body system of postural alignment. I had studied it briefly in college and then many years later I worked one on one with an Alexander Technique facilitator once a week for about a year. It was a gentle and effective way to release tension in the body.
I arrived at Judy's office in Rye feeling, as ever, scared. My hip was a mess and I knew as soon as we started "doing work" my darling hip would erupt.
Here goes nothing!
Judy opened her office door and invited me in. She had this almost God like sense of serenity about her. It was safe here.
I tried to describe to Judy what was going on with me, but at the time I didn't really know what was going on with me so I just explained that I was cramping up from emotion in my body. She smiled a gentle smile and said "OK, let's put you on the table."
An Alexander "Table Lesson" is quite a remarkable thing when facilitated by a Godess of Serenity like Judy. I lay down on a rose colored massage table.
"Ken, I just want you to relax. You have done this before so you know how it works. Just relax."
Judy placed her hands on my shoulder, relaxing my shoulders and my head started to vibrate slightly. I could feel THE FEELING coming.
Judy moved about my body, placing her hands and giving me "Direction". My head continued to vibrate slightly.
Then she cradled my head with her hands and lifted my head gently lengthening my spine.
THE FEELING arose out of somewhere, my left leg kicked up into the air and I started to sob softly, as in the past, feeling totally disconnected to the "back story" of the emotion.
"Here it is." I mumbled through my tears.
"I can see that." Judy was unphased, fascinated.
She walked down to the other end of the massage table and gently lifted both my legs.
"Careful I don't kick you."
"Don't worry, I am fine. Just breathe.
I took a deep breath. Judy gently gave direction to my legs AND THE EMOTION AROSE AGAIN. Soft tears of childhood loss fell furiously down the side of my face.
OH NO! WHY WON'T YOU GO AWAY! Please LEAVE ME ALONE.
"Are you alright?" Judy asked.
"Yes, I am fine but it's really here- the emotion. It is trapped somewhere inside me."
"I can see that."
"What is this? What CAN I DO?"
The FEELING arose as Judy again pressed on my shoulders.
"I am not sure."
So I cried and cried, softly, and sometimes furiously, for the next half hour. Judy's gentle touch was safe, so safe, and then in a moment, fraught with fear. She was leading me, giving me direction to release.
AND MY BODY WAS A LIVE WIRE!!!
We finished. Judy helped me off the the massage table. I sat by her desk emotionally wasted. There was a burning sensation in my left hip flexor.
"So a lot of emotion, huh?"
"Yes." she replied softly.
"What can I do to get it out?"
"I don't know."
There was a long almost melancholic pause.
"I have an associate who does deep tissue body work. He may be able to help. This is new to me. Of course, you can see me again, but you might want to see him. His office is in Manhattan."
She gave me his name and number, I thanked her and I left.
I walked out into the damp winter air. The town of Rye was quiet now. The Soccer Moms were out taking their kids to practice and their husbands were still at work. It was cold, a dark cold that chilled the insides of your bones. My answer wasn't here. Judy thought my answer might lie with The Bodywork man in the Big City, but I knew in the heart of my heart...
... that my answer was somewhere deep within me.