Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter


Day 144

As usual, I feel utterly exhausted after my 5E acupuncture. That’s why I’m posting this so late for a week day. It was my first treatment for a month (my practitioner has been away), and I got up this morning knowing I had to get a lot of work in before I left the house to get down there for 11am. After not sleeping well on Sunday night, I also knew that I’d probably be more tired than ever afterwards. It was an intense treatment – lots of moxa, lots of warmth, some needles in new places, some in old places, drifting in an out of consciousness in a room on my own, lots of images and thoughts wafting through me (with a needle in the middle of my forehead) without sticking (that’s the best way if your mind is crowded; just let them come and go, and drift past quickly; you can pick them up later). The realisation that it’s a two-way street; that my practitioner is grateful to me for asking for entirely 5E sessions, that I am grateful for having them, and better for them. A discussion about how many people shy away from 5E because of its inherent spirituality, for its veering into territory people either avoid or make fun of; a view into a different universe that can scare people, or which can give them occasion to make fun of people like me and reduce us to the tree hugger level of insult (which doesn’t touch me, to be honest; I believe in spirituality, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think other people shouldn’t; horses for courses; tolerance; all that). I like L – she is a serious practitioner with a humorous edge. I like what we gain from each other. And I need a spiritual connection to people who treat me.

Because the practice is over halfway into the city, I wandered down to the market after my session and treated myself to a huge bacon sandwich (on white bread, no sauce), and sat on the terrace in front of the Town Hall that looks down over the market to eat. I watched people, listened to conversation I probably shouldn’t even have been hearing. A part of the conversation “how has it got to this stage, where we’re permanently knackered; I thought we’d be past all that by now.” A snippet of the one person – a tall dark-haired woman in jeans and a loose-fitting cotton shirt wandering around the stalls looking for something, phone in hand, making a call after each stall she’s looked at, then returning to the stall just below where I’m sitting, apologising for interrupting two stall-holders’ conversation, disappearing into a fabric stall, having a long discussion, staring at her phone, nodding at the stall holder, saying thank you, leaving without anything, speaking into her phone again (though inaudibly to me), smiling, wandering off and not returning; my intuition was that she’s pregnant (whether or not she knows it yet, I don’t know). A snippet of other people – skinny young woman in crop top and tight white trousers browsing the outside of a vintage clothing stall with bored-looking bearded boyfriend; she wanders around the outside of the stall touching all the merchandise while he nods dutifully; then they disappear into the stall and don’t resurface before I leave. Third and final snippet – stall holders sitting round a table drinking tea and eating; others keep turning up and there are lots of hugs and kisses, male distant greetings, smiles, questions, raised voices; and it strikes me that folk will look at that tableau and get this romantic image of people just hanging around getting something for nothing, and nothing could be further from the truth. These pictures are consigned to permanence now, and may well find their way into some book or another that I have yet to write.

The sun is shining through those clouds that look like an oil painting. I called this picture “Earthly Constellations” when I took it an hour ago and 2 hours ago and sent it to the family WhatsApp group. There’s a poem in there somewhere, as there is in most things.

I will carry this tiredness through the rest of the day gladly.




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