January 11, 2008
In the Thought Garden outside the Acupuncture Center, I strike
up a conversation. Marie tells me she's in for "calmness,
nicotine and fertility." She's a sinewy Hollywood type who
looks like she could make herself into a pretzel. "I do it in
combination with yoga, colon hydrotherapy and Rolfing," she
tells me. "Looks like you're a bit out of line yourself," she
adds. She speaks gently, thoughtfully. I tell her I'm trying to
find out if acupuncture might help in creativity. "For sure,"
she says. "You're a painter--I can tell by your nails." It was
my time for the inner workings of the Center.
Ms. Chang could have been a heroine in a Kung Fu movie. Her
smooth consultation was over in minutes. She spoke with the
matter-of-fact certainty of a religious convert or an
anaesthetist about to administer gas. "You may need to book
several times," she said as she delicately laid her needles on
a white towel. I told her I was only in Malibu for a few days.
"Even one visit will help," she assured me. Her needles went in
with nary a whimper from me. I admired a hanging basket of
shiny foliage. I thought it could use a dusting. A chart on the
wall reiterated the benefits I had read before. My needles
stayed in for a while with an occasional wiggle or wag. Ms.
Chang hummed a bit, left, came back. Then she systematically
removed my needles and I was released to the new me.
I tore back to the beachside condo and squeezed out. There were
ample subjects on the beach below, but I was into my head. The
cries of delighted children catching the Frisbees thrown by
their fathers made me think of the blessing of good health and
the wisdom of family life. But I was alone, an outsider in
these parts. Anyway, I seldom have much trouble concentrating
in strange places. My efforts were more casual than usual, more
laid back. I had the distinct feeling that this 11" x 14" was
an extra. Do you know what I mean? This one didn't count
because it was outside the regular pattern. It felt good,
perhaps because it went a bit brighter, fresher, and, like my
recent treatment, faster. We've put the item at the top of the
current clickback. See URL below.
The next morning the painting didn't look so hot. But maybe
that's just me. Maybe it's my out-of-line posture. I wondered
if I might ever see Marie again so I could ask her where she
does her Rolfing. Anything is possible in California.