I am often asked why I became a massage therapist. Short answer, I went to massage school. Longer answer, I lost my son and all my knowns. Depending on the day, and the person’s energy on the table I decide how to answer. If it is only my expertise that the body on the table wants to confirm, then the short answer plus the brief list of all other trainings is more than sufficient before quiet resumes and muscles relax. If they actually do want to know the why then I start with, I lost my son. Even that though requires more background. To say you lost someone, means what? A separation, a death, an inexplicable event in which sorrow is an angry god- a loss from whatever cause, is still a loss. I don’t bother explaining the pull of wanting to be a parent, or the blows to both body and spirit that miscarriages cause, and there is no point in trying to weight the waiting and hoping in any measurable way. I don’t explain the adoption process, with it’s pricking investigative questions and the feeling that you are only worth a certain amount by some kind of unavailable text. I don’t explain the actual events of the loss except to those I feel close to. Those are times gone. What I say without explaining is that I lost my way and bodywork provided the grounding I so desperately needed at the time. Not at first as a massage therapist, but as a dancer. Sometimes, when words are impossible and anger and frustration threatens to bury you, the only thing possible is movement. Latin ballroom with its definite steps and definite responses allowed my mind to stop; pattern was first, thought that could be held gently, later. When the boundaries of ballroom became too concise and the mind began to again scream, my instructor suggested Argentine Tango. In Argentine Tango, the patterns become blurred and one is forced to let the mind soften and still and to listen, only listen at first to one’s partner in the dance, and then later to listen to your own inner voice. Your eyes can close, and you can simplify all of the outer world to just that one moment when movement is speech, and you can trust again. From that point I felt easier in my sorrow-and in it’s anger- it became endurable, blunted a bit and I became curious about what more my body and mind could say in one sentence versus having the conflict between the two. Dance led to yoga and to several certifications, and then finally to massage school. I am still learning, and moving in both dance, yoga and other wordless forms of communications. In learning to be quiet, I was able to again speak in art, and poetry, and to allow for the possibility of pain from others. Being a massage therapist allows me to address the pain in others, and in myself and to find a common communication in the healing and relaxation processes. It allows me to hopefully be of some help and to have hope.