Friday, July 3, 2009
The humidity and heat - 28 degrees and rising - bring with them a fretful quiet, a slowing of activity. Of necessity. Impossible to think clearly and quickly, to move at a pace beyond minimal. My office is up four flights of stairs, on the top floor of a converted 18th century townhouse. No airconditioning. The south facing sash window is jammed wide open in the vain hope of capturing a breeze, the sunblinds drawn. As an emergency measure we set up an electric fan on a folding chair between our two desks, taking care as we come and go not to trip over the cable. In spite of natural inclinations the work rate slows and I put off anything beyond the basics, the simple. My margins are very thin in high temperatures. The fan's turbulent air blows papers off the desk and dries the eyes.
My office colleague is American, born in the desert lands of the South-West. She loves this weather, flourishes in the heat, goes to the sauna regularly in winter for physical and emotional health. We manage our thermostatic differences and make allowances for each other - I dress in layers for flexible temperature control, she brings extra woollens. I sweat occasionally for her, she shivers from time to time to keep me happy.
A first appointment with a local shiatsu practitioner this afternoon in the ongoing quest for spasm-free muscles. Shiatsu worked miracles for my lower back in 1993. The first session was a Wednesday evening and I had to take the rest of the week off work, nose and eyes were running so much afterwards. A continuous stream. Not a cold, or flu. Detox.
Later in the year, in the October, a major life change occurred for which I am thankful to this day. I still believe an apparently unrelated series of events including the fact that I am alive now - a tad melodramatic but possibly true - were in some way triggered in a treatment room in a basement flat in North London that evening in May sixteen years ago.
In my book, everything is connected and in ways we can't begin to imagine.