Several years ago my dog Rita cut the back of her leg and needed stitches. Because stitches required her to be “put under” the vet suggested we also take out an icky, suspicious looking blob on her skin. The surgery went fine and Rita quite willingly wore the lampshade around her head, keeping her from picking at her stitches.
When I took her back to the vet to get the stitches out, the ones on her leg (that prompted the whole vet visit) healed up like a champ. Looked perfect. When the vet nurse (is that what they are called?) cut the first two stitches of the blob it was clear that this had not healed yet and was not at all ready to have the stitches taken out. But, there was no putting the stitches back in, so they just stopped and left about 6 stitches still in. It only took a few hours for the skin to start to pull on the stitches, opening them up….yuck, yuck, yuck. So, then poor Rita had a very gross hole on her side with some stitches hanging on for dear life. It was hard to look at. Very,very, gross.
I took her back to the vet and they said to just leave it and let it air out. Sewing it up again was not an option and covering it up would do it no good either. That seemed absurd to me — why just leave a big gaping hole of a wound open?! The blessed doctor explained to me that the cut on her leg was a very superficial wound and very quick to heal. Removing the blob, on the other hand, made for a much deeper wound that was going to take longer to heal. She assured me that although I could not see it, the healing of the blob’s wound was happening deep on the inside and then only gradually it would be visible on the surface of the skin.
Ooooooooooooohhh. Right. That is how that works. And covering it up with a bandage only makes it stinky and infected, or trying to sew it back up again makes a whole new wound and the original one worse.
I should have paid the vet much more for her therapy for me. I knew I had some not-so-superficial wounds in me that I had been picking at, trying to bandage, or sew up all over again. Unfortunately, I couldn’t wear a lampshade to keep me from picking at these wounds consciously or unconsciously.
The next yoga retreat is about healing. Healing in your body, in your mind, and in your spirit. I’m not going to suggest even once that we pick at our wounds. Expect that we won’t even talk about the wounds – only the invisible healing that happens in the fresh, open air. Yoga is not a magic cure for all that ails you. I do not know of any specific pose to heal arthritis, anxiety, or regret. But, hopefully through the practice of meditation, breathing, movement, and especially community (and laughter!) we will develop our own kind of lampshade to encourage that deep healing. It seems like the best we can do. I hope you will come.
Saturday, February 23rd, 9a.m.-noon. Philo Presbyterian Church, 105 E. Jefferson St., (just a few blocks off High Cross Rd.) Philo, IL. Philo is only a few minutes from Champaign-Urbana. Come out to the country…it is wonderful. The retreat is $20 (if this is prohibitive for you, please tell me and still come – pay what feels okay for you). Bring a bottle of water, a yoga mat (you can always borrow mine), and maybe a blanket to sit on. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peace on your head,