I had a massage tonight. It was a holiday gift from my employees, and it was at a place I hadn't been to before. The massage ended up being just okay, but even a mediocre massage is better than just about anything else on earth, in my opinion. I'm all greased up now and ready to take my silky self to bed.
My massage therapist was about 22 and weighed every bit of 98 pounds. When she started the massage she told me to feel free to comment on the amount of pressure she was applying, and I almost immediately had to ask her to press harder. She did. A smidgen. And as she slowly worked her way around my body - left leg, right leg, back, shoulders, arms, neck - I had the sense that she knew the motions but was performing them without passion or depth. Then I started thinking about being 22 and wondering if your soul is even fully formed at that age. Maybe she didn't have the ability to connect with me in the way someone who has carried around a body for at least 37 years and knows what it needs would have.
I thought, she has no idea the distances and the terrain my feet have walked. She couldn't possibly understand all the cares and concerns that my shoulders have carried. She could never handle all the intense beauty and devastating sadness my eyes have seen. She doesn't know the worries my hands have wrung out. She has no idea about the years that have worn away at my straight back or the letters my fingers have typed, or the friends my arms have held. I thought at one point - if she knew that my ears have heard the perfect perfection that is the the laugh of my nephew, she would touch them differently. She would have to.
So she rubbed me this way and that, and it felt okay, but never really reached the layers beneath my skin, which is always why I go. Again, I'll take it. But I was hoping for more.