Jessica needs air. She feels something heavy. She sees in a way that has no picture to it a heaviness drawing on her, her muscles. She scans her body. Yes.
She briefly recalls Arlo looking up to the corner of the café with a look of pondering. If he had had his hand on his chin it would have been perfect. No doubt he was soon to consult his beard, Van Dyke style, long and pointy, cut to stroke during such moments she imagined. She didn’t wait for it. She slipped out in one thrust and cut to the left for the stairway up from the café to the street. He will understand. Besides, it’s part of the game, two points for slipping out unnoticed, a rare tactic.
She is walking up the block now. There is a parkette. Parkette. A 50s kind of word. Ronette and Georgette head down to the parkette to talk about the new launderette. There’s the I Love Lucy theme playing along too. She makes Ricky come out in his underwear with his congo slung over his shoulder commando-style and laughs to herself.
The parkette is thankfully empty. She sits on a bench where people can still see her as they pass. Who knows what lurks in the bushes beyond the scrim of streetlight. The space is a patch of grass with some planting, double the width of a city lot and as long as the city-block is wide. There is a kids-zone down at the other end, resting in the evening shadows. A breeze blows through carrying the scent of the lake mixed with the musky smell of falafel. The sound of a Brazilian samba swirls out of a club down the street. Cars make their Doppler-sucking sound as they pass the opening of the parkette. Cicadas buzz in alertness in the evening trees.
Eating time, she recalls from the conversation, inwardly holding the sound of the words and giving them space to stand on their own. This contemplation brings the word, hucha. Hucha. Heavy energy. It is a word from the tradition of the Q’ero shamans of Peru. She learned it from Joan Parisi Wilcox’s excellent book Keepers of the Ancient Knowledge. Jessica began working with the exercises in this book and was especially thankful that her study coincided with her divorce some years back, just at the time when she so needed to let go of the accumulated negativity of her relationship. She learned to sense the heavy emotional energy that glommed onto to her sensation body, her poq’po as it is called in the mystical language of the Q’ero. In addition to the practical nature of the teaching, she was drawn to their understanding of how to let go of the hucha that builds up on the envelope of sensitivity permeating and extending out from the physical body. The practitioner directs the energy down and out the root chakra in the region of the base of the spine. Furthermore, in directing the hucha in this way one feeds Pacha Mama, Mother Earth, in a way that is beneficial. The negative emotional energy, causing dis-ease to humans, is food for Pacha Mama. Nothing is isolated. Everything has repercussions in the web of existence. Everything is connected to everything else. To eat time is to become conscious.
Essential to the practice of releasing hucha is the drawing in of fresh light energy, sami, down through the crown chakra. This energy is coming from above. The energy is drawn down and into the heart center. Managing the process, of course, takes practice, just as any skill does. Once she is relaxed on the bench and has connected with sensing the surface of her body, Jessica gives one complete breath to locating and releasing hucha from the surface of her poq’po. During the inhalation she draws the heavy energy into her navel and during the exhalation she moves the energy down and out her tailbone. With the next breath, she directs attention to drawing in and blending sami into herself. With the inhalation she invites the fine energy down through the crown of her head into her chest and with the exhalation she blends this energy into her being.
She smiles at a passing mother with her baby in a stroller, the baby’s head lolling in sleep. The mother rolls her eyes at Jessica in relief. She long ago let go of the idea that doing this kind of inner work required some kind of special room or place. Of course, she has such a place, but inner work can be done anywhere it is needed, so long as there is no harm to others. She is sure that the heavy energy she became aware of in the café is not hers. She is also sure, or at least pretty sure, that it is not Arlo’s. Whose then? She does not take up the question seriously although she is aware that such energy abounds in the city. Big, gooey, gray marshmallows of rage and fear roll like tumbleweeds in the streets. She re-focuses on the releasing and intake.
As she works, she no doubt appears simply as a woman waiting for friend in the long shadows of a July evening. She’s finding the heavy-energy drain mostly in her legs, her thighs in particular. She works in a relaxed way, and as she does, she notices new colours appearing in her feeling, like a beautiful fish approaching the surface of the water where one can begin to discern the multi-coloured play of light on its scales and the agile way that it adjusts lithely in the flow of the current to keep itself steady. The best inner work is itself a poem written upon the page of being, a deft transformation of the unseen into the utterable. After some time, she finishes as she started with a prayerful intention.
To be continued.