Perfecting Human Touch

Perhaps I’m a bit odd, (OK, I’m sure I’m odd!) but when I sit and am actually still for a few minutes, if I breathe and let it, I can either totally still my mind or just let it run amok.  If I let it go, my mind can move at such a rapid pace that it can randomly take me anywhere – the past, the present, the future, and allow me to experience memories, or a variety of imaginary situations with a plethora of plot twists; all in a matter of minutes or even mere seconds.

Today, while sitting and sipping my morning coffee, my mind randomly took me back to Newfoundland, about 25 years ago – to the memory of an Iyengar yoga class I used to attend when I lived in downtown St. John’s.  My mind relived the deep peacefulness of this particular yoga class, taught by ‘BW’.  The class was popular and always full; with men and women of all ages and abilities – from those who looked like seasoned yogis to those who were mobility challenged.  As every body is built differently, BW had a very specific talent to be able to take any pose and modify it to perfectly suit each person in her class.  And while I floated in a light, zen-like state, I could never fully grasp how she somehow managed to get to every person in the room and gently help shape their body or modify the pose so that it worked for them and they were able to feel it’s maximum benefits.  It was almost surreal and, dare I say, magical.

I feel that part of how she accomplished this was from having mastered the art of the perfect human touch.  I can recall pushing myself into what I found to be a difficult pose and suddenly, she would be right there next to me, quietly asking permission to help/touch me.  And once her hands touched me – gently directing my back downwards or my hips upwards, my body would instantly relax.  It was like every straining muscle just ‘sank’ into the pose and every care in the world simply melted away.


The perfection of her touch was such calm simplicity.  It was slightly firm, yet light.  Warm and gentle.  It radiated with positive intent, kindness and a genuine care for the well-being of others.  Her touch was to guide you into a healthy and comfortable place.  It was right and perfect and was never misconstrued as uncomfortable or inappropriate.  I appreciated feeling the positive energy of another person.

Fast forward back to 25 years later, now, in the present.  And after all that, as I continue to sip my coffee, I think about how in my late 20’s I became a hugger.  Everyone who knows me, knows I give hugs. I give hugs hello, I give hugs goodbye.  I give hugs of thanks, hugs of support, and hugs of comfort.  I’m not sure I have accomplished the perfect human touch, but I give all my hugs with an open heart and positive energy.  I hope that anyone I’ve every hugged has felt that.




Bucket List Part 3: Taste Absinthe

OK, again, not a very lofty bucket list item – but (again) not many of my bucket list items, are.  So – why absinthe?  Well, I just couldn’t help it… over the years, the literary & arts lover in me had conjured up romanticized images in my mind of sitting around an old Sherlock Holmes-esque English parlor having marvelous, deeply intellectual conversations with fascinating people about the arts, philosophy & religion –  all while partaking in the ritualistic sipping of a glass of absinthe, involving an intricate-looking beverage contraption… fancy, huh?



So, as I’m always on the lookout, opportunity finally knocked and I got my chance!  A restaurant had opened up in Halifax, advertising an ‘old-timey’ feel and serving absinthe, so last year while my son was at a nearby event, my partner & I dropped in so that I could give it a try. 

What I was served wasn’t entirely what I had expected – I had expected the elaborate font from which water would drip onto a sugar cube above my absinthe (as pictured above).  However, what I received was still quite lovely – a small, fancy glass of vibrant green absinthe, a small decanter of iced water, a sugar cube and a small silver, perforated spoon.  I was directed to place the spoon over the glass of absinthe, place the sugar cube onto the perforated spoon, and slowly pour the iced water over the sugar cube to drain down into the absinthe.  You could add less or more water, to taste.  The icy sugar-water turned the vibrant green of the absinthe to more of a milky green – and it turned out that this was actually the traditional way to drink absinthe!  (So, I didn’t feel gipped on my experience!)


Absinthe was quite close to what I expected it to be – it had a primary taste of licorice (due to, I would guess, the anise & fennel), with a hint of ‘herbal’ taste, behind the licorice.  I was told that absinthe also contains wormwood – which has a bitter taste.  Well, somehow, together, it all just – worked, as I enjoyed the slight contrast of the bitter wormwood to the licorice/herbal taste.  And, it was quite potent!  One glass left me feeling pleasantly warm & relaxed.  However, as it was so potent and rich (& me being a bit of a lightweight!) I had but the one glass! 

Over my glass of absinthe, my partner and I did not discuss philosophy, the arts or religion (more likely the logistics of our weekly schedule or the grocery list!) and, sadly, I did not devise any earth-shattering ideas for world betterment, nor did it magically make me a literary genius.  However, in the end, the experience was highly enjoyable, (I did not cut off an ear, much to the relief of my partner!) and found that I’d certainly be willing to drink absinthe again, should I ever have the chance!