The Forgotten Language

 

Below is one of my favourite poems of all time.  I think about it from time to time, especially when I am in the clinic, and it's busy and I'm humming along doing what I know to be really Good Work.  In the groove, you know?

I often think about how this poem relates to what we do with acupuncture, and how the best of acupuncture cannot be truly spoken, or relayed by words to another. It can only be experienced.  This poem speaks to me of the Tao, and how, after putting some needles in someone's knee, their shoulder feels miraculously better, and we both share a wide-eyed wondering look at how amazing the body is.

It's when I remember this forgotten language, spoken without words but only expressed through a sense of the perfection in which we all reside, that I give my very best treatments.

The Forgotten Language, by Shel Silverstein

Once I spoke the language of the flowers,
Once I understood each word the caterpillar said,
Once I smiled in secret at the gossip of the starlings,
And shared a conversation with the housefly
in my bed.
Once I heard and answered all the questions
of the crickets,
And joined the crying of each falling dying
flake of snow,
Once I spoke the language of the flowers. . . .
How did it go?
How did it go?

This story was posted on March 9 2013 by StillpointCA.

Comments

  • March 9 2013 at 12:18 PM
    urbanapuncture writes:

    Well not said

      4 likes
    • StillpointCA
    • Spartacus
    • emily
    • heg105105
  • March 11 2013 at 12:48 PM
    alexa writes:

    There’s too many kids in this tub,
    There’s too many elbows to scrub,
    I just washed a behind
    I’m sure wasn’t mine,
    There’s too many kids in this tub.

    That’s my favorite Shel Silverstein poem, and some days the clinic feels like that too! 

    Jean-Paul, thanks for the reminder that sometimes the best medicine is a child-like sense of wonder and silliness.

      6 likes
  • March 12 2013 at 11:07 PM
    Whitsitt writes:

    My beard grows to my toes
    I never wears no clothes
    I wraps my hair
    Around my bare
    And down the road I goes.

    That’s my favorite Shel Silverstein poem, and some days that’s how POCA feels.

      3 likes
  • March 13 2013 at 5:10 PM
    Roppy writes:

    Draw a silly picture
    Write a nutty poem
    sing a mumble grumble song
    whistle through your comb
    Do a looney gooney dance
    cross the kitchen floor
    put something silly in the world
    that ain’t been there before.

    There is so much poetry in Community Acupuncture.  Thank you for making the connection.

      2 likes
  • March 14 2013 at 12:18 PM
    Steven R writes:

    In one of those ‘six-degrees-of-separation’ stories- my wife Leah Katz grew up in a bohemian atmosphere in SF/Sausaulito in the 60’s,her Mom was very progressive almost Beatnik and had a huge circle of artists, socialists, gays,  writers, and other free-thinkers around her amongst whom was Silverstein..who she remembers and tells stories about. Later my wife became a children’s literature specialist for school districts and has always snuck him in when she could! That early 60’s scene must have been a great time and SF was decades ahead of the rest of the country in acceptance of every kind of alt/progressive lifestyle…

      2 likes

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