When my middle child-a mama’s girl- started kindergarten, she clung to my waist like lichen on stone. The separation for us was painful, me leaving her, crocodile tears in her eyes, a little waif dressed in tiny jeans and a yellow shirt sprinkled with daisies. I’d done my best to prepare her. She’d been to Pre-K and had play dates. But this little sensitive, towheaded girl still resisted leaving her mama. Out of desperation, before we left the house, I put on red lipstick and kissed her soft, dimpled hand, leaving my lip-print like a colored picture.
"There," I said. “When you feel sad or scared, look at your hand and mama will be there.”
I still remember how delighted she was, as though I’d plucked a secret star fresh from the sky and placed it hot in her hand. To her, it was the most famous kiss in the world. For a month after she never left for school without that lipstick kiss. Yes, her eyes still filled with glassy tears but then she’d stare at her hand, unscrew her grip, squeeze me tight and bravely walk into her classroom, carrying her Pink Flintstones lunch box.
Ironically, this mama’s girl has gone off to college twelve hours away and although I miss everything about her, the way she kissed my cheek before leaving for her daily adventures is what I miss most.
We crave touch. Some need more than others but our skin is hard wired for it. Have you ever had a hot rock massage? If not, get yourself over there as quick as possible! I’ve had one but want more. Let me describe.
Flat, slick rocks are heated, while you lay like a bird without plumage between cashmere soft white sheets, woodwinds in the air, the scent of lavender or patchouli piped in. The world drips away. The hot rocks are then placed down your spine, which further melts you like butta. Drenched with warm oil,they are then whirled, looped and kneaded with delicate intuition over every inch of skin you own and in the end you’re left on the table like a lump of sensual bread-dough, covered up and left to rise again into something gorgeous.
You won’t be worth a flip the rest of the day. I lay about like the Queen of Sheba, pink skinned, drinking Bud Light, okay wine, and eating butter-cream chocolates and watching sappy movies, thanking the universe, my family, the masseur, everyone and his brother. Ahhh……. We can all take a day off from the world occasionally. And should.
Me being rather curious and chatty- even during a massage, but not through all of it, I swear- I asked my masseur about her profession. Did she enjoy this, did she feel it was her calling and was it hard for certain people to relax and allow a stranger to touch them?
She told me she could feel, by touch alone, a person’s essence. She knew whether they were joyful, depressed, or in pain, emotionally or physically. “The elderly bring me the most sorrow and joy,” she went on. “Some have not been touched in so long and are in so much pain it brings them to relieved tears. What a powerful, magical gift, given and received.
Touch your stories. Touch people’s lives. Leave your lipstick kiss upon the world.