Pure of Heart Massage by Joshin Yamada

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11.22.200221:09 Waiting to give a massage to a friend

Okay, I started this column in September with an inital burst of enthusiasm. 'How hard could it be to write a letter once a month,' I thought. Famous last words.

It is refreshing ot come back to this endeavor and sit cross-legged at the computer and journal (while my stovetop moistens and fluffs up, I might add). I can't tell if it is the fact that I went swimming tonight, or whether it is the fact that I got some nice, solid studying in tonight (Trapezius— I 've got your number now) but my spirits feel a little lifted tonight. This is an extraordinarily tense and difficult time for me. It is, for me, a period of transitions and tests. I am both anxious to get through my board exams, and dreading them at the same time. I curse how much time I have let slip through procrastination and the distraction of having so much more entertaining diversions available.

Some of those diversions, though, I wouldn't trade for a million dollars.

In these intervening months I have flown back and forth across the country several times. I have had the pleasure of traveling with my parents to Canada and Washington state, sharing with them some wonderfully fun experiences. I also had the experience of sitting alone in the car with my nephew, Spencer, and soaking up the reality of his life.

Yes, it was both frightening and unknowable to me what he was feeling as the many seizures coursed through his nervous system, but at the same time I also observed how he still takes pleasure in some of the simple physical phenomena that I usually take for granted. I normally only think about light when I am looking through a camera lens and planning a photograph, but watching how the movement of the shadows of leaves on Spencer's face brought him pleasure gave me a greater appreciation for the small details in life.

I am deeply grateful that I got to be a part of his support community as I stroked his hand to comfort him, or when I used the suction machine to ease his breathing. I have ever greater appreciation for the love and care that Akari, Davis and my whole extended family give Spencer every day.

I am rambling a little now, finding difficulty gathering my thoughts. Chalk it up to the glowing drowsiness that permeates your consciousness after a good workout.

Well goodnight. Perhaps I'll see you again in a month.

copyright © 2006 by Joshin Yamada2 by Joshin Yamada