Revoke my New Yorker card if you wanna but it’s taken me years to realize that the M3 from Harlem goes to the Guggenheim museum in almost 20 minutes! I discovered it this weekend and now I just don’t know what to do with myself. I’m a bit of a Museum nerd and it kills me when there’s a show I wanna see on the East side and all I think about is all kinds of soul sucking train line switching I have to do in order to get there. The M3 route takes me through memory lane passed Central Park East and and my High School and finally on the upper East Side where I went on first dates, saw movies, hung out at HMV (remember HMV?) and tried to catch transportation home on school day evenings before my pass expired. I love this line.
This weekend, Simone Yvette Leigh’s “Loophole of Retreat” brought me to the Guggenheim, not one of my favorite Museum spaces but for some reason, it was more than tolerable this time. I always love seeing The Guggenheim from the outside but something about walking around an incline in circles without ever knowing what floor you’re on irks me. Still, when I saw one of Leigh’s pieces on a subway ad months ago I was just viscerally struck by the power of it, the Blackness and the femininity. I finally read more about Simone Yvette Leigh and her work a few weeks ago. I visited her “Brickhouse” sculpture on the Highline and have since just been fascinated and obsessed with being close to her pieces.
Continue reading Sunday at The Guggenheim →
My cellphone switched off in the pocket of my robe hanging near the door of the quiet room. Why did one side of my body feel different then the other as he worked on it? Was he doing the exact same thing on each side or was he instinctive about what was needed on each side as he went? Do masseuses get maturity training to stay focused and not get preoccupied by merely physical sensation? Is there kindness training? How do they pace themselves? How touch can be intimate and respectful. Other than force and perversion, what else can make touch feel disrespectful? The inner thigh space felt a bit dicey. Like I was hyper aware and sensitive about him working in that space on me. I wonder what kind of experience Francis is having with his masseuse. I hope he likes it. I think we need to do this more often. The gentle way he folded my hands next to me when he transitioned to a different part of my body. What might he be thinking? Letting my body go completely limp because I know this helps the therapist work best. There were times when I wanted to say that he could increase the pressure but I wasn’t sure how that would be taken. I don’t recall whether I’ve ever had a white male masseuse work on me before. If I did it was years ago, under a different administration, I a different person. I can trust a masseuse to do their job well but I can’t trust deeper than that in this respect, and I would like to but I can’t. It’s not just my body here, but my spirit. So many White men have problems, no matter how much work they’ve done. It’s sad. It gets in the way. There is tightness near my right clavicle, a deep tightness when he kneads it that I don’t feel when he does it on my left. What does it mean? His touch is so low pressure that it’s almost shocking when something hurts. I can hear his breathing. It’s very pronounced. Changing with his movement. Which makes sense. It feels nice to have sheets tucked gently under me. Breathing deeper. I love long deep breaths. I feel as if I have inhaled all the way down to the bottom of myself and exhaled back up again. It feels amazing. Why does it feel so good to have certain parts of the body pressed, tugged and pulled? I’m glad I kept my underwear on. I went back and forth on that. I was raised in a naked house so I’m not super shy about that in a wellness context but I didn’t want things to be awkward for anyone. My breasts rocking side to side rhythmically when he pounded on my shoulders. Loving. What a loving act a massage is. What a loving way to impart caring, healing and loving energy exchange. How do you do this thing, which requires both closeness and yet respectfully emotional distance in the most beneficial way? I’m not sure I would ever be mature enough to make a good masseuse. I admire that quality very much. What if I chose to keep my eyes open the whole time when I flipped on my back? How awkward would that be? He called me sister when it was over. Which was nice. The tiny bottle of Clary sage tucked in my robe pocket.
Stay tuned for less stream of conscious thoughts on my Summer spa experience next week.