“To fully embrace attachment theory as a practice, it is suggested that an individual move towards love by developing the capacities and behavior patterns of a secure attachment style…(Which) will require a loving relationship…This loving relationship, whether with mentor, partner, or therapist, serves as an anchor point of comfort and safety — we need an unconditional love reflected back knowing we are safe to be ourselves. Once anchored, we can start exploring other communication modalities and possibilities that exist in the world.”-Sophocles: Mending a Broken Heart, Chapter 4,Attaching to One Another
My Kingdom for a Blood Orange
Insights into a therapeutic connection
I have become an avid hiker.
Well… not really. Those who have followed my blog know that three years ago I disappeared into the many forests and mountains of western North America searching for glaciers. Three years later, this avid hiker had taken a bit of a hiatus… I just had to tell him it was time to start earning his keep again.
My avid hiker was called into action because I am an extrovert. A majority of the time my replenishment comes from the many clients I see face to face on a weekly basis. And, although I still see and work with clients in these sequestered times, video does not replace the in-person human connection. In fact, as most people are now experiencing, video meetings cause fatigue due to the lack of 3D imaging that our vision is accustomed to. Our bodies and subconscious have to exert a tremendous amount of energy attempting to discern a 2D image… yada yada yada… There are several articles out on the internet.
I live in a location that is world renowned for hiking; Muir Woods is literally a 45 minute walk from my doorstep. To not hike would be sacrilegious, and amidst the sequestering, it has been my only way to interact with other humans, in a physical and energetic way. It brings the flirt out in me as I have a keen interest in all who pass me by. And most locals have their trail preferences so every hike becomes a choose your own adventure; you can seek out the characters you wish to find by just choosing the right trail:
- Welcome to the towering, taunting, and titillating Dipsea Stairs! Its paths represent the oldest and most prestigious fun run in the United States. But be careful… a short walk up them will make the best of you breathless.
- Pitch yourself up the elegant, enormous, and exhilarating Cowboy Rock! Beneath its shadowy curves you can feel the episodic flirtations of local adolescent angst… the panting here is done with pleasurable intent… most of the time.
- Vault into the mythical, mysterious, and mystical Stolte Grove! The cavernous valley notes car-less abodes. At the bottom of the valley boasts a stage, where ‘Midsummer’s Night Dream’ is oft played.
- The kingly climbs, moonlight meanderings, and virile views of the Panoramic Trail. From here, life is but a choice… there is nothing left to conquer, just observe, and descend for another adventure.
Each hike is seemingly a courageous jaunt into a garden of adventure. The towering trees provide a flowering flora and fauna that even ye of little imagination can get lost in. ‘Twas where I found the yellow brick road… sang ‘Hi, Ho’… brought a whistle to my work… and decided I was the walrus on the yellow submarine. All just as the bluebird was landing on my shoulder….
After one of these adventures, I stumbled into the main square of the village, not far from my residence. I was full of oxygen, head high, and engaged in a hovering gait. There was a young woman sitting eating a blood orange in the square. At first, I saw the orange squirt as she tore it open. As I approached, I swore I smelled it. The ether around me was thick, and I approached her from my courtly stance as if the orange was mine. My verbal greeting, however, surprised me; it came from a deep thirst, a longing for connection. I proclaimed, “That looks amazing!” The corner of her lips curved toward the sky. Her eyes softened and opened wider as her hand reached towards me, orange within. “Want some?”
The pandemic lectures, social distancing, 6’ feet apart, flashed before me. But, I was mostly embarrassed, as the gentle offering of a beautiful young woman is uncommon, even far more uncommon in the age of sequestering; I melted. However, in my mind, Persephone had offered me her pomegranate seeds condemning me to hell. Flushed, I declined.
Twenty minutes later I am standing in line after shopping for my weekly groceries. The girl working the checkout greeted me warmly, in her best muffled mask tone. The inaudible language not heard, her sensitive greeting confused me. It took a few moments, but underneath the PPE that now covered 3/4 of her face and most of her body, was the girl from the village square.
My recent experience with those doing grocery work in this manner has been harsh as most feel uncomfortable in the garb, and fearful of the potential hazards of interaction. However, for the first time in weeks, there was a human connection with two people standing face to face, masks be damned. My greeting her outside, in the human connection of kings and queens, had made her day… or so she said. I was touched by her gratitude. I realized that my thirst indeed was not of blood oranges, but for a smile on a face amidst a horrid time in all our lives.