off the map

Last night, I arrived (unusually!) early to work, giving me time to walk the labyrinth (built in the classical style).
It was cool. It took longer than I anticipated (oops), but was a strikingly parallel experience to the process of receiving feedback on a paper earlier in the afternoon. My pace was slow, measured; my mood contemplative. I wove through its curves, following the path. I wasn’t conscious of time passing &emdash; or I thought I wasn’t &emdash; until the moment I thought I’d arrived at the center and realized there was another circuit to complete. A visceral feeling of shock rippled through me. Ah, I’ve already felt this today! In retrospect, the event and interaction around it were unfortunate, but possibly (?) not avoidable? Different sets of expectations and priorities. Two strong personalities. Crash.
But the morning was incredible. I had a massage (first one in three years or so) and the masseuse said it was a pleasure to work on me because my body was so responsive. She could see the muscles sussurate while she worked some of the pressure points. I was struck by the fact that even though I was tired and nearly fell asleep, my jaw remained clenched throughout. I couldn’t keep it relaxed. What? Me worry? It has to go somewhere, so they say.
At the end of the appointment I asked if she happened to know a tattoist. She hesitated, thinking. Yeah, she said, this guy Gabe. He just opened a shop in Easthampton. As she was digging out his phone number she added, “His body is covered with birds. He has a pair of lovebirds on the back of his neck.” He’s the one, I thought (actually felt) to myself (recognition?) The masseuse hadn’t remembered the name of his shop and didn’t have his work number so when I reached him on his cell phone he suggested I get directions by checking out his website. It doesn’t get more perfect than this!

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