T h e . E y e

Many years ago, I began regular acupuncture therapy, to seek relief from physical pain that a host of narcotics was unsuccessful in resolving. The doctor that treated me also offered natural herbs for healing, but when I asked her to suggest which would be best in my treatment, she said none.

She said it would be useless to take natural herbs while taking pain medication and advised that I revisit the option when the meds had cleared my body. Today this seems like a no-brainer, which led me to consider all the routes we take to rid ourselves of what hurts, because pain doesn’t separate the physical from the emotional, or the emotional from the spiritual; so often we’re left divided, grasping to identify and peace together the parts of ourselves that have unknown prescriptions – alone.

I don’t necessarily agree that natural herbs would not have benefited me at all. Perhaps not physically, but I imagine there would have been psychological or spiritual impact in the exercise of ingesting nature that can’t be measured against the effect of pain relief as a whole.

Someone I speak with once a year recently asked whether I was dating ‘yet,’ so I thought back on the acupuncturist, and how three years ago I thought dating was the answer to a general social expectation of moving on. In that time, I’d not been compelled to expose myself to that space, except in moments when that question came up, to soon fade after I’d found a way to brush it off. I gave her the same answer I gave the last three years.

“I feel this will be the year,” I said.

She responded to say I deserved it, a statement I affirmed, finding it easier to be agreeable, then to go into the depths of her intended meaning. Internally I questioned what it was she felt I deserved, what she thought I was worthy of that I’d not already been given. As she continued asking questions I felt uncomfortable with, it dawned on me that in the past, I must have expressed lack, if not directly, then indirectly. Other than what I’ve written, I’ve not expressed out loud that I’ve been lonely, but because I haven’t dated, it’s assumed I am, and though not incorrect, I don’t want to take up dating for the purpose of curing loneliness.

To exist in a state of loneliness is similar to living beneath the fog of depressants. I believe there is a correlation identical to what my acupuncturist expressed in that introducing the nature of another human being into our body, mind, and spirit, does not resolve or cure our dis-ease. We still must do the work to clear our fog, if we hope to see ourselves and others for the natural beauty that we are.

Yet I also believe loving another when in fog serves a purpose, because when love is introduced, it functions to alter internal preset temperatures and change our weather.

People date, fall in love, and marry in fogs every day. I like to think it’s because they understand the darkness of the other, and still choose to commit to their overall atmospheres, that they remain the focus above all seasonal conditions.

I know this isn’t always true.

Some hope another’s atmosphere will transform their own, and it can, for those strong enough to hold their umbrellas as a partner holds their hand. For those without a desire to gain or use that strength, a partner may be left to brave two storms, without stamina enough to hold onto anything except faith in sunshine for support.

So pain, acupuncture, herbs and the question of dating also brought a past question of love I once had into full circle. It’s been bittersweet – the taste of that circle, but only when on its perimeter. The truth is, there are no cures for the world’s ills except death, and if all of life continues to be a series of intermittent storms followed by peace, it is in the eye that I would choose to date, love and live; and with the man I love, I believe this might be our sweetest spot.