The past week has been extremely hard. Mom died two months ago yesterday, though it feels far more recent. After the funeral came the a monumental work backload, the holidays, and a bronchial infection. Now that those are over and done with, there’s the silence of the house, an overwhelming amount of clean-up and clean-out work to do, and worst of all, no will to do it and no energy (physical, emotional, or mental) to do it with.
I’ve written before about the crippling depression that had periodically taken hold of me since my college years, and how I’ve had a respite from it in recent years, which I attribute in great part to acupuncture. This past week, though, I’ve noticed that I’ve been acting depressed, even though most of the time the emotional component wasn’t there. Sad, yes, but not that black despair. All that changed sometime last Thursday. I’m not sure what the trigger was, and I’ll spare you the gory details, but let’s just say it was a very bleak weekend. This grieving business is a real bitch.
Today I seem to have recovered some small sense of equilibrium, though I can’t say I feel happy or peaceful yet by any means—just less . . . insane. I think it started yesterday evening when I realized that any step forward is in fact a step forward, one step (however tiny) closer to where I want to be. I thought of that old Psalm that went, “Your words are a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.” Not daylight. Not even streetlights. Just a small, flickering lantern to illumine the next step or two on a dark road.
Last night I dreamed that I needed someone to hammer a big nail into my right wrist and right shoulder. When I got up, and noticed those spots were extremely sore to the touch, I spent time rubbing them, and looked them up on my favorite acupunture points database. I found that the two places corresponded directly to two points on the triple burner meridian. Turns out the one on the wrist gets rid of Heat in the body (think of it as systemic inflammation), and the one on the shoulder activates the entire channel, regulates qi, and gets rid of phlegm, which has been bothering me for a couple of weeks now. So my body told my unconscious which acupuncture points needed treating. Not bad.
The triple burner is not an organ, but a physical mechanism that controls respiration, digestion, metabolism, and elimination: the fire that both creates and destroys. The old Chinese teachers likened the triple burner to a water wheel. It is turned by incoming water, and that turning creates energy for accomplishing other tasks.
Which, of course, is precisely what I need in my life right now. Even a tiny step forward is a step forward, after all.