The Case of the Black Fist, Spiders in the Sperm and a Salamander in the Brainstem

Exploring a Physical Developmental Issue in the Imaginal Domain - Part 2



Fred C. Olsen, M.Div. Copyright 1993


May 17,1993

Fourth Session with J. (Length: 3 hours) (Total hours to date: 10.5)

F: When you came in, you were saying?

J: I was totally wiped out.  Let's see, we got together on Wednesday, right?  On Thursday, I stared at walls all day. (laughing).  Uhm, you know, as I was driving home. I could continue to feel stuff going on in the back of my neck all the way home, but I didn't feel anything the next day.  I was just, I woke up at my regular time.  It wasn't like I was a drugged feeling, or anything like that, and couldn't go back to sleep, but I knew I was really tired.  Uhm, and I really just sat around all day long.  Then on Friday, I didn't go to a yoga class, I couldn't even go to a yoga class, I just could not get myself to do anything, I was so wiped out.

Then by Saturday, it was okay, but, in my meditation and visualization, I can't see anything up there now.  It's just all dark, I can see the thing that's really strange is, as I go down, if I start down at the base of my spinal column and I go up, it looks, I don't know, it looks normal, but it looks like it's always looked.  Then as I get up to this area around my neck, it's like maybe I shrunk it too much or something, cause it sort of goes like this, and all of a sudden, it gets really small.  Up at the top, where we worked, I think things are different, although I can't see anything.  I think it's smaller, but I can't see anything.  This has happened twice before, in this visualization where I just look and it's totally black.  I just don't see anything.

What I'd like to work on today is, I would like to see if we can see some more up there, because I would guess, this is what I think happens.  I think what has happened is the swellings gone down, but the brain stem still needs to go up into the brain, you know.  It's sitting down low and it needs to go up into the skull.  I'd like to work on this leg.

F: We didn't get there last time.

J: No (laughter), I probably would have been carried out on a stretcher if I'd worked any more last week, anyway, I had hoped, I sort of half hoped, that I could work with you on Friday.  There was just no way, I just had no, I didn't have it in me to do any more than we did.

F: You've been doing a lot of work.

J: Yeah, and it's amazing, because I do feel that it's hard work when I'm here, but, I mean, the sessions before, I'd never had the physical reaction that I did this last time. I mean, it was just shhhh.

F: Do you have a sense what was the trigger for that, or what aspects of the work did it?

J: Hm. I think it's the work we did at the end, uhm, I think the most impactful was the work we did towards the end where I saw my mother, and it was after that that I felt all this stuff going on in my neck.  I think it was that stuff.

F: There was a lot of emotional stuff.

J: Yeah, yeah, yeah, but I think it's more than just the emotions, maybe the emotional stuff could last for two days, I just think it was everything.  I've never experienced anything like that.  I mean, I can always gut out enough energy to do something, and I just literally stared at walls all day. (laughter)

F: You're back on an even keel?

J: Yeah, actually on Saturday I was fine.  Saturday I was fine.  It was great.

F: Okay, so where would you like to go?

J: Uhm, I'd like to go up here at the neck again, hopefully that won't take up so much (laughter).  I am kind of curious to what's going on up there.

F: So when you go there, what do you see?

J: I see dark, I see black.

F: Describe the black.

J: Kind of moving around.

F: Hmm, Is it some kind of material?

J: It's more like smoke.

F: Smoke?  So you see the smoke?

J: Mm hmm.

F: Where are you?

J: Hmm, mm, I'm in like tall grass along the coast.

F: Okay, how old are you?

J: I'm me now.

F: In the present?

J: Mm hmm.

F: What's that place like, the tall grasses?


J: It's kind of foggy and windy.  It's an open field, but there are fences all around it.  It's a huge open field, but it's fenced in.

F: What else do you see?

J: Birds, blackbirds, red-winged black birds.  I can see the wind on the grass moving the grass.  The grass is between waste and shoulder high, it's real tall.

F: How is it there?

J: It's peaceful.  It's a little on the nippy side.

F: What are you wearing?

 J: I have a sweatshirt on and can't tell if I have cutoffs, I think I have cutoffs.

F: What are you doing?

J: Just looking, just enjoying the sight, and the background.

F: What are you feeling inside, in this scene?


J: Apprehension (pause), I should feel relaxed, but I, I sort of feel relaxed, and I sort of feel apprehensive.

F: So where do you feel that apprehension?

J: I have it in my solar plexus, yeah.

F: So go there, what do you see?

J: I see dark again, it's not smoke this time, it's ah it's like shadows.

F: You see the shadows?

J: Mm hmm, they make kind of a half moon.

F: And where are you in that picture?

J: I'm looking down at myself.

F: Okay, is there anything else there beside shadows?

J: It's like a stone wall with shadows, its' kind of a sandy color.

F: A sandy colored stone wall?

J: Yeah, with the shadows on it.  It's like sandstone, actually.

F: What's your feeling about that sandstone wall?

J: I want to draw on it.

F: Okay, can you do that?

J: I'm such a lousy drawer, I want to draw, but I can't.  All I can do is trace the shadow, (laughter)

F: So where's the feeling about, rather, how old are you there as you're trying to draw?

J: Wanting to draw, I'm uh, maybe somewhere around eleven, ten, eleven, it’ something like that, seven to ten.

F: What's the seven to ten year old feel, while.needing to be able to draw?

J: Confidence, hmm, confidence and the freedom to express myself.

F: Confidence and the freedom to express yourself?  What do you need in order to have that confidence?

J: Hmm, I think what I need is, I have to go back and reprogram. I have to go back and reprogram.  What do I need to have confidence?

F: Is there a place in your body where confidence lives?

J: Hmm, (long pause) I think it is in my solar plexis, l'm not sure, It might be the back of my neck.  It might be, I don't get anything really strong.  I sort of get it in the back of my neck.  I sort of get it in my stomach, but…

F: Let's go to those sorts of places.

J: Let's go to my neck, first, what do I see there?

F: Mm hmm, what does that sort of confidence look like?

J: (long pause)  I sort of see's like trees I've seen in Monterey that lean with the wind. It leans like this. Almost like a C. I can't really see. I can only see like the trunk of the tree, uhm and just the tops of the branches, but I can't see the leaves on the branches.


F: Are you in that picture?

J: No I'm just looking at it.

F: From where?

J: I'm standing in front of it looking at it.

F: How far away?

J: Maybe six feet.

F: How old are you there?

J: I'm my age.

F: What do you want to do?

J: Hm. Hug the tree.

F: What happens when you do?

J: First, I feel the bark, it's really scratchy.  Then I get this energy and..., it’s like grounding.  There's a lot of wind. The wind’s kind of cold.  It's blustery, it's kind of blowing all over.

F; What's happening to you and the tree?

J: I'm just holding on, I think I'm younger now.

F: Okay, what about that energy from the tree?

J: I don't feel it when I'm young, I feel it when I'm my age.  When I'm young, I can't get my arms around the tree.

F: So, how young are you now?

J: I keep going back and forth, you know.  My age, I grab the tree.  I feel this energy.  I feel this strength, I feel this groundedness.  Then I see, it's almost like it's not, it's like a fetus.  It's not a fully developed person.


F: So, you see that fetus?

J: Yeah, it's more like a...yeah, it's not fully developed.

F: What do you want to do with it, this fetus?

J: It's ugly looking.  Uhh, I want to keep it moist.  It's getting dried out from the wind.  I can sort of like sponge it to put water on it.

F: What happens when you do that?

J: The fetus likes it, I mean, the fetus is more comfortable when it's wet than when it's dry from the wind.  It seems to grow a little.

F: What condition is this fetus in now.

J: It's a little more developed.  Now, I see the bottom from the shoulders, the neck down.  It has overalls on, like it's more developed.  The top still isn't developed  Somewhere around the shoulders.

F: So, from the shoulders down, this fetus is wearing coveralls.  It's more developed.

J: I don't know if it's a person or not.

F: What do you need to find out?

J: I could go over and look at it, but I'm half afraid it's a thing, rather than a person.

F: Hm. How far are you from it?

J: Still about six to ten feet, I guess.

F: The you that is watching it, how old are you now?

J: I want to say I'm in my late twenties.

F: What are you wearing?

J: Its clothes that I would wear to work, like I was on my way to work, or on my way home from work, or something.

F: What does that late twenties woman want, or what does she need?

J: I want to go over and find out if that is a thing or a person or what.

F: Can you do that?

J: Yeah, I'm pretty sure it's a thing.  Yeah, I get this image like a giant salamander, or something, with coveralls on.

F: What does it want to communicate to you?

J: Hm, uhm (long pause).  That it is a salamander or something like that and it's okay.  It likes being a salamander with overalls on.  It protects him from the rough bark of the tree.  The tree's it's home.  It keeps changing size.  First, it's the size of a person, and then it's the size of a salamander.

F: So when it's the size of a person, what does it look like?

J: Looks like the Gator Ade commercial, except its head is smooth like an alligator.

F: And when it's small?

J: Just like a little salamander with overalls on.

F: So this little/big salamander lives in the tree.

J: Yeah (long pause), I'm trying to get up enough courage to walk up to it.

F: What do you need in order to do that?

J: Some courage, some trust in the fantasy.  I mean, what's this salamander doing with clothes on?

F: Maybe it's some trust in this imagery.

J: Mm Hmm, I see, I think that salamander is me and I don't like being a salamander.  Yuck, I hate salamanders.

F: So this is some aspect of yourself that you don't like, or you perceive yourself to be?  A self image?

J: Yuck.

F: Does that make sense?

J: That's what I think.


F: So what's happening in that time in your life?

J: I moved from school teacher to the private sector.  So, it was a career change for me.  I want to say I was like twenty-eight, so probably already in the corporate world for about a year. I made this transformation from a civil servant, to a money-grubbing (laughter) corporate person.  It worked out.  I was real successful, got a lot of recognition, I worked my tail off.  My deeds were rewarded monetarily and I got a lot of promotions and a tot of responsibility.

Let's see, twenty-eight, and I'd been there a year.  I guess it's probably when I started getting recognized for my potential.  I was kind of moving along swimmingly, enjoying myself, and basking in the monetary recognition that the school system never gives, more respect that I never got as a school teacher.

F: So you were getting a lot of respect.

J: Mm hmm.

F: And reward.

J: I was working really hard, yeah, I was working very hard.

F: So, that's this twenty-eight year old, in her business clothes, looking at this wind-blown tree, where this salamander with coveralls lives.  What's that part of yourself that the business woman part of you is not quite sure she wants to touch.

J: The salamander is real spongy and delicate, doesn't really have any protection.  The grown thing that looks more like an alligator has the protection of hide.  It's a lot bigger too.  What is it?

F: Are those aspects of yourself that you left behind when you went into the corporate world?

J: Things that I had to compromise were caring for people.  How can I say this?  In the corporate world, you can care for people, but you care for them in the context of the business world.  Ultimately, the company is there to make money.  You can take care of people to a point and then you don't.  In the school system, you care for people because they're people.  You still have rules, I mean there are kids that don't fit in or don’t follow the rules, or they hurt other kids.  In general, you take care of people, because they're people.

F: You're not rewarded as much for that.

J: No, you're just expected to do it.  What else can we find?

F: You're expected to care for people.  In the business world, you take care of people up to a point.

J: Yeah, you're expected to take care of the business, and part of taking care of the business is taking care of the people.  You only take care of them up to a point, and then you take care of the tradeoffs between the people and the business.  The business always wins out.  Naw, It's not quite that bad, but it's more that way than...


F: So this business woman, she’s not quite sure about this salamander kind of alligator person, who wears coveralls.  What would happen if she really...?

J: Now the image is, because the salamander now looks more like an alligator, I'm okay with going up and touching this alligator.  I mean, I'm not afraid that it's going to bite me or something like that.  It's a friendly alligator.  The salamander, I can touch, but it really repulses me.  It's all squishy and vulnerable and it has no protection.  I think it's stupid, too, It's dumb.

F: A really fragile, delicate, vulnerable...dumb....

J: I don't know. I don't think being fragile, delicate or vulnerable is dumb, I think it's pretty scary because it's vulnerable.  I think it's dumb if you reveal it to people that you can't trust.

F: So, when you are really exposed to that level of vulnerability, it's pretty scary?  Has that happened to you recently, that kind of exposure?

J: I'm sort of in that now.  I got a leave from work, but in my mind I've really quit.  I don't want to do that work anymore.  My husband's business isn't going all that well, so, from a rational count the pennies point of view, this is really pretty dumb, what I'm doing. I just know that if I don't quit now. I'm going to kill myself working, because I'm turning off everything else just grinding away.  I haven't teamed to do things in moderation.  He has this job overseas that could potentially work out fine, but has equal potential to be a financial disaster.  Uhm, so, yeah, if you stood back and put down the plusses and minuses in a real left brain rational way, I'm very vulnerable.  I'm probably doing something very stupid.  Uhm, and, if I let it, I get pretty scared about it, I feel like that salamander.  Uhm, but I just say the other way doesn't work.  I've got to take some time to figure myself and life out.  So, I put on the alligator protection and go forth with vigor.

F: So, what's happening in this picture now between the twenty-eight-year old business woman, who's just getting her rewards, acclaim, confidence, success and this gnarled windblown tree on the beach that houses a salamander and an alligator?

J: Well, she's friends with the alligator, no sweat.  She really doesn't like the hard protective coating of the alligator either, and, uhm, she's starting to pet the salamander.  It still feels squishy, the salamander does.  Uhm, the tree seems bigger, bigger than before.

F: What about your connection to the tree?

J: The tree's getting bigger (pause), I feel like I'm way down by the root of the tree, really small.

F: Is the tree getting bigger, or are you getting smaller?

J: The tree's getting bigger, yeah, the tree's getting bigger.

F: How does that feel?

J: It feels alright.  I'm just curious about it.  Actually everything’s getting bigger.  Maybe I am shrinking.  The salamander’s getting bigger.  I'm about the size of an ant.  The salamander’s bigger, it's about the same size as…

Mm hmm, it’s dumb and just kind of watching, no substance.

F: The alligator in coveralls and this salamander just seems kind of strange.

J: Yeah, strange is a good word.

F: It's a whole different world.  It doesn't make sense to this hard driving success story, mainstream...

J: Achievement junky.

F: It's really hard to bring those two dimensions together.

J: Mm hmm, I don't even know what the alligator does.  It's just sort of sitting there watching me watch this, being involved with this salamander.

F: Do you have any desire to interact with this alligator?

J: He has a lot of energy, he moves quicker.  Uhm, just cause he's in overalls, I think he's a hard worker.

F: He's a tough skinned, fast moving, hard working...

J: Yeah.

F: But still not corporate.

J: Not mean, like he would bite your head off.  Yeah, just industrious and ....

F: So, how would you like to relate to this alligator?

J: Umm, just.  He seems like a nice guy to have around, he's friendly enough.  He’s not going to do anything terrible, or bad.  He's strong and self sufficient and he actually has a good heart.  He can take care of himself, protect himself.  He can protect me.

F: He protects the salamander too?

J: Not necessarily, he's just kind of there with the salamander.  Yeah, I guess he does protect the salamander, Yeah, He does.

F: So, there's room for the salamander to be at home there beside the alligator.

J: Mm hmm.

F: How's the business woman doing now?

J: Perplexed.

F: What does she need?

J: She needs for that salamander not to be so stupid (pause), the salamander's on the alligator's back now.

E: What happens when he's on the alligator's back?

J: Maybe he can use the alligator's brain.

F: Is that possible?

J: The salamander's still stupid, but the alligator can help it.

F: Where does this business woman feel this perplexity?

J: Disgusting, the feeling is more disgust.  This stupid salamander is really...

F: So what would you like to do with the salamander?

J: She thinks about killing it, but that doesn't make sense, then she thinks about taking it away from the tree and sticking it in a pond of water.  The salamander is a lot happier there.

F: In the water.

J: Yeah.

F: Is that a good place for it?

J: Mm hmm.

F: When the salamander's in its own pond, what happens?

J: It's much more active, it swims around, not so sluggish.  Uhh.

F: What's the alligator doing?

J: Standing by the tree watching, kind of curious.  The salamander's real happy, but it's still squishy, and still stupid.


F: Disgusting to the businesswoman, so, what does she need right now?

J: She needs to figure out how.  She needs to learn to live with the stupid, squishy salamander, or she needs to figure out how to make this salamander smarter and not so squishy.  She really doesn't want to live with it the way it is, stupid and squishy.

F: So what can she do?

J: Uhh (long pause), I get the feeling she has to live with it, cause I can't figure out how to make it not stupid and not squishy, yuck.

F: It's happy in this water, right.

J: Yeah. She could just turn her back and walk away and just let it be, just forget it.

F: What happens when she does that?

J: I don't really want to do that.

F: Something's not complete when she does that.

J: Mm hmm.

F: It's hard to accept the salamander in its own limitations and its own space, allowing it to be happy.  It's a real challenge.

J: She's swimming in the pond with the salamander right now.  It's actually kind of fun.  The salamander kind of flips around and stuff.  She tries to follow it.

F: So when she can go down to that level, and play in the water with the salamander, there's a common ground.

J: Mm hmm, the salamander's pretty good at playing.

F: Is the business woman pretty good at playing?

J: (Roaring laughter), what? (laughing)

F: Does she have any interest at being good at playing?

J: Uhm, it's real hard.


F: It's a challenge.


J: Yeah, it doesn't have a lot of purpose.

F: Play?

J: Yeah, I mean play for her is, you go for a hike, you set a goal, and you go there and you come back.  Or you go on a bike ride someplace and you come back.

F: Goal centered.

J: Right, you got it.

F: Accomplishments, but just to have pleasure, to frolic?

J: She could learn a lot from the salamander.

F: The basic instinctual stuff, a different kind of knowing.  What happens when she gets in the water with the salamander?

J: She's kind of mimicking him.  When he goes down to the bottom and sits, she goes down to the bottom.  He comes up and flips in the water and she flips in the water.  He lies on his back and she lies on her back and floats. He goes down looking for food, she kind of digs around in the mud to see what she can see.

F: How does it feel to do that?

J: Fun, just kind of free and easy, and I have to push out, push back the "this is dumb” thoughts.

F: Do you think this is possible?

J: Mm hmm.

F: Desirable?

J: I don't know if she could do it very long.

F: Could she create a space in her life for that (long pause), five minutes a month?

J: (roaring laughter) It's hard to even, I mean...

F: To even feel that?


J: Yeah, everything is sort of accomplishment designed.  You set out play as an accomplishment, play for five minutes a day.  I don't know how to do it.

F: Is the salamander willing to teach you?

J: The only thing the salamander can do is play.  I can follow the salamander.  It's really not smart enough to teach.

F: It's just smart enough to do what it does.

J: I can copy.

F: Just feel that, to get it inside you.  What's happening to the alligator and the tree now?

J: It came over to the water, kind of watching us. It’s the first time he went away from hanging onto the tree.  He's playing with us in the water.  It's kind of fun.  I have to be careful of his tail, he has a powerful tail.  The salamander's quick, really quick.

F: Is that his protection, his quickness?

J: I guess so, his color.  He can just lie down in the mud and not be seen.

F: How's that feel, that and…?

J: Just comfortable, it feels like it ought to be.

F: So when you feel that, where do you feel it in your body?

J: Here.

F: So go back to the field, what's happening there now?

J: It looks the same.  The grass is maybe a little taller, there's still a breeze, the fence is still there.

F: How are you feeling?

J: The apprehensions gone, maybe a little bit.

F: When you bring the salamander, and the tree, and the alligator, and the playfulness into your body, how does it feel?

J: It feels good?


F: What do you want to do?

J: Frolic in that meadow, swirl around, kick dirt, pull weeds, and throw them, skip around, whirl around, listen to the bees.

F: When you do that what happens?

J: The alligator's standing there staring at me by the tree.  The salamander does the same sort of thing in the water, then watches for a while, then frolics, and watches to see if I'm still frolicking, then frolics, and then watches to see if I'm still frolicking.

F: Are you?

J: Mm hmm.

F: Now go back up to the back of your head, the place you started.  What's happening there?

J: I can see it, it looks normal to me.  It doesn't look swollen, doesn't look skinny.  It just looks like it ought to look up at the top of the brainstem.  I can't see it, but it feels like its normal.

F: What about that sandstone wall, with the shadows and the ten year old who wants to paint or draw?

J: The shadows are gone, it's a nice clear sandstone wall now.

F: Where's the little girl?

J: She's looking up at it.

F: How's she feeling now?

J: She wants to turn it down so she can crawl on it and draw on it.

F: You want to do that?

J: She's got like a big nail, and she's carving away.

F: She's not worried about…

J:   what she draws, but she's younger, more like five.  She's making a big cloud, a fluffy one, not a rain cloud, and some mountains.  That's it.


F: She finished her mural.  How does she feel about it?

J: She feels good, it was fun.

F: What's she want to do now?

J: Put the wall back up.

F: What happens when she does that?

J: It looks good.  Now she's climbing the wall, up the side.  Now she's flying around over this gorge, with lots of trees. It's fall, oranges, browns and different colors.  There's dust, sandstone dust all over the trees.  A bird.

F: How's that feel?

J: Great, free, carefree, light, very powerful, very independent.

F: Is that a new feeling for you?

J: No, it's familiar.  The new part is the feeling free, that’s a new part.  I don't usually feel free.

F: So that's new.  Let that free feeling flow through you.  When you take that back into your head, your body, what happens?

J: I just got this big explosion.  Uhm, the top of my neck, just went, this big white light, like a fireworks.  Now, it's not dark it's light.  I can see the shadow of the skull.  I can see the shadow of the brain.  I'm trying to look at the top to see if there's a lot of space there so it can go up.  There seems to be some, more off to the right, there seems to be just a little off center to the right, there seems to be.  The left side seems to be all the way up there.  The right side looks like it could go up a little bit.

F: So what does it need to go up?

J: It seems like it's going to be off center if it goes up like that.

F: You say it's all the way up on the right.

J: Yeah, it's over like in here, some space there.

F: On the left, it's all the way up?

J: It's all the way up.

F: It's full on the left, on the right it's down some; yet, if you go up into that space, it's going to be off center?

J: I think if I push the brain up, it's going to be crooked.  Maybe if I push it from here, let's see if I can push it up there and hold it and check it out (pause).  It might be alright cause maybe it's just always been crooked, and now I'm going to straighten it out.

F: What's happening with that fire, that light?

J: It just exploded that one time.  There's still a lot, there's light, so I can see now.

F: What happened when it exploded?

J: When it exploded, it was like, like a plug that was there that got pushed out so that the sides could come in a little. Yeah, it was like, yeah, like a plug on a drain, or something.  The explosion made a mushroom and it's kind of white.

F: Does that replace the black fist?

J: Oh yeah, the black fist's been gone for quite a while.

F: So now it's more of a white mushroom.

J: Yeah, but it's a mushroom that's made out of smoke or something.  It's not dense.  It's more like a jellyfish.  It does have some substance to it.

F: So what's happening in that space now?

J: It's still there.  I'm trying to figure out how to… thinking if there was fluid down at the bottom, maybe it would just float it up.  That doesn't seem to work.  Yeah, if I just try to take it from the bottom and try to lift it, it doesn't lift, it just kind of squishes it.

F: What happened to the little girl, the salamander, and the....

J: They're looking at that space up there.

F: They're looking at it?

J: Mm hmm, the salamander's gone up to go swimming in that space.  There's like fluid there.  The little girl really doesn't want the salamander swimming there.  She takes him out, the space is getting smaller; the space is gone.  I don't know, it feels more like; it looks more like the brain just expanded into the space, rather than the brain floating up into it.  Naw, the space is there again. (long pause)  Maybe it is floating up in there.  It keeps bobbing or something.  The space is there and then it goes away, then it's there and then it goes away.

F: Which is stronger?

J: It's going away, so it's fitted in.

F: The other image is fading?

J: Mm hmm, I'm half afraid to encourage it because I don't know whether the brain is swelling, or whether it's moving into that space.

F: What happens when you move down to the lower section?

J: Well, it must be floating up there because there's more space.  Yeah, it must be floating up there.

F: So where are you now, as you're watching?

J: Standing behind myself and looking, I'm real close to my head, like six inches or so, ten inches.

F: What do you see?

J: Uhm, the outline of the skull.  Then I see what I think is the outline of the brain, and I can see where it was down and now where it is, which is floating up a little higher, like a couple of inches higher.  I can't really see the left side, so I'm not sure if it's even, or higher, or what. (long pause) It seems buoyant and natural, not constrained, or confined, or…

F: How are your inner characters responding to that?

J: They're both just looking and watching that, the alligator and the salamander.  The twenty-eight year old is watching too.  They're just watching.  I'm looking up at the top, and I can see it, the space kind of bobs in and out.

F: Like it's floating and suspended and loose?

J: Mm hmm.

F: How's that feel?

J: Good, I feel release like in my jaw area. I still can't tell whether it's going to stay closed up there, whether it's going to settle up or down.

F: But you can follow that.

J: And now I can feel it down in here, behind my ear.

F: Physically?


J: Mm hmm (long pause), for some reason, it doesn't settle down, it just kind of keeps sloshing there.

F: But that feels okay?

J: Mm hmm.

F: Why don't we pause at this point and go work on your leg?

(Short break)

F: I was wondering if before we did that, if you would like to share some of the outer history of how you got into Feldenkrais work and of the medical circumstances.  How did you come to know there were blisters?

J: Ohh, that was really by accident.  I used to go to J.J (Feldenkrais practitioner), because my back used to go out.  I'd be in tremendous pain.  Actually, I went to see her because I had a TMJ problem.  She was referred to me by a friend because my friend said that's all stress stuff.  She said that this Feldenkrais stuff is really good for stress.  She worked on my TMJ.  She took care of that in three lessons, but my back was always going out too, and it was always after something stressful in my life.  It wouldn't happen while the stress was going on, but when I was over the stress my back would go out.  It was very consistent.  She started working on my back, and my back hasn't gone out since.  I can't remember the last time it went out.  That took care of that.

F: How long has that been?

J: A couple years, I guess, no it was more maybe four years.  And then, I've just been using her like a masseuse, you know, whenever I feel like my shoulders are tense or my back is tense, I just go to her and have a lesson.  It lasts a lot longer and is more effective than a massage, I think.  Over the last year or so people have just been commenting.  "Are you tripping?"  No.  "Are you limping?"  That was it.  So, I went in for my physical.  It was just sort of like, you know people keep saying I'm limping and I do sort of drag my leg.  I didn't really think it was anything.  I just thought it was due to the fact that I have slight scoliosis.  It's probably something like that.  So, I really didn't think much of it.  My doctor referred me to a neurologist who did some simple tests in the office, you know, reflex tests in the office.  He said there was something there, so they did this MRI and found all this stuff.  So, it was really kind of a fluke.  It wasn't like I was in terrible pain or, that it was obvious that I was degenerating.  It was just, yeah, why not do a physical and find out what is wrong with my leg.  I didn't expect anything would be there.

F: So what showed up in the MRI?

J: That my brain sits down low in my neck, rather than up in the skull.  It causes rubbing and pressure.  Then there's swelling.  They don't know what causes the swelling, the swelling causes an irritation that causes this blister down my spinal column.

F: How did they know there was a blister?

J: Ohh, they could see it on the MRI.  You can see it.  It's just like, where there is no blister, there's just this solid piece of spinal column and then you can see this blister, this long blister.  It's full of fluid. It looks like a blister.  It's pretty big.  The only reason I know that is, I overheard one of the doctors saying "Ohhh, That's a big one."  They were outside looking at the MRI pictures.  They look like X-rays.

F: So, did you have that done more than once?

J. No, just once.

F: That was within the last year?

J: Yeah, about six months ago.

F: Then, you'll have another one..

J: In six months.  The doctor's actually being as patient as he can be.  "How long are we going to do this?"  For the first six months, after I saw it, I said I wanted to do this visualization to try to get rid of it.  He said, "Well, at some point you're going to have to have the surgery, but it's not critical that you have it right now."  I came back in six months, and he thought for sure that I would come back to have the surgery, and I came back to say that I want to take some time off to see if I can take care of this because it's not working at work.  And uh, he said "How long is this going to go on?"  I said, "Give me another six months and we'll do an MRI.  If there's no change, then let's talk about surgery."  So, that's the deal I have with him.  If I've got some change, I suppose he'll let me work on it some more.  If there's no change, I don't think he's going to put up with this anymore (laughter).

F: So let's, just right now, check in again with your head and what we did before.  What's happening there now?

J: My brain seems to be floating up higher.  Maybe there is a little sliver more that it can go up.  Down at the bottom, it seems to have raised up on that side.  It seems almost like it is higher on that side than on the left side.  I don't even want to look at that right now, I'll just sort of let it... It feels real, very light, on this side.

F: And as you go down the spinal column?

J: I still have this little, there's this little strip where we drained it before, where there's this little dot.  I mean, it's all fine.  The bottom is still unconnected.  It's still kind of tentative.  It doesn't feel real secure, but it's disconnected.

F: Can you connect with the feeling of that tree and the alligator and the salamander and the twenty-eight year old. What's the feeling?


J: That's all connected up here, but not down below.

F: So let's go into your leg and where you feel that connection.

J: I feel that it goes all the way back up to my neck.  I mean that it goes from my leg, up my back, right back up-where?  Let's do this a little more slowly.  It seems that there might be a hitch at my knee.


F: It’s okay up to there?

J: Mm hmm.

F: What's that hitch look like?

J: Can't see it, I can only feel it.  I think maybe it looks like a knot, like a square knot.

F: Can you see the square knot?  What's it made out of?

J: Rope, dry rope.

F: Dry rope, and where are you?

J: Looking at the top of it.  It's at a weird angle.  It's like the rope comes across this way (from the sides), and then there's a knot.  Why is it coming across this way?  It seems like it ought to be coming like up from my leg or from the bottom part of my leg, but it's coming this way and then a knot.

F: Hmm, what would you like to do with that rope?

J: Untie the knot, I can loosen it, I can untie it.

F: You can?

J: Yeah, it's two ropes coming this way (from either side), and I can untie it.

F: What happens when you untie the ropes?

J: Uhm, the leg seems to be freer at the bottom.

F: Do you have a sense where those ropes come from?

J: You mean where they go?

F: Mm hmm.

J: They just go off into space (pause).  I don't know what they're connected to, but they keep me on the straight and narrow, you know.

F: Ahh, okay, so they're designed to keep you on the straight and narrow?

J: Mm hmm, stay on the right path, whatever that is.

F: So, do you know when they got tied?

J: While I was an adult, just a second, let me check the teenager.  When I'm an adult and not when I'm a child, not when I'm a teenager, (long pause) hmm.  I'm trying to figure out when, early twenties, mid twenties, late twenties, early thirties....

F: Did the young business woman have it?

J: Yeah, definitely

F: Did the school teacher have it?

J: I don't think so.

F: Hmm.

J: I don't think so, maybe a little.

F: So this rope got tied, maybe at this transition.

J:. It was there when I was a teacher, but it wasn't tight.  The knot was formed, but it wasn't tight.  When I was a school teacher, it was there, but it wasn't tight. When I was a business woman it was tight.

F: So when you untie it, what happens?

J: (laughter) The business woman goes berserk.  She's jumping around and being silly.  Ha Ha Ha Ha.  Ahh, nothing happens to the school teacher; she just keeps doing her thing.  But the business woman throws up her briefcase.  All the papers go flying all over.  She's up dancing around and generally just being silly, almost frantic, actually.

F: So what are the alligator and the salamander doing?

J: They're watching this business woman, and consulting with each other about how silly she looks and wondering when she's going to stop.  Now she's stopping, she's exhausted.  The salamander and the alligator are sitting on each side of her on a log.  She's trying to catch her breath.  Now, she's up whooping and hollering again.

F: What does she need?

J: She needs, she needs to know that the rope is untied for good, so that she doesn't have to run to take advantage of the freedom, because she's always free.  If she feels like she's going to be tied up again, then she wants to get as much out of the freedom as she can, in that moment.

F: So what does she need in order to know that the rope will not be tied up again?

J: I guess we need to do something with the ropes so they can't be tied again.  We'll burn the ropes.  She's watching them burn, warming herself by the fire.  That seems to do it.  She's just sitting there calmly with the alligator and the salamander, really good.

F: What's it look like in your knee?

J: Well, there's something pulling at my leg.

F: What's that look like?

J: It's not a rope.  It's not that thick around.  It's more like the size of the top of a suit hanger.  It's about that thickness, but it's not metal.  Maybe it is metal.  Maybe it is metal.  It's not real stiff.

F: Can you track it?  Where does it start, and where does it end?

J: It starts right at the knee, goes up my leg, into my groin, attaches to my lower back.  It’s a little higher than my lower back, almost the waist.  I think it goes up my back, but I can't see it past my waist.

F: What would you like to do with it?

J: Well, my first thought is just to coil it up, but then I have this big coil that I don't know what to do with.  That takes care of the connection, but what do I do with this coil now.  That's what it is.  It's like soldering stuff.  It's like that.  I wonder, what if I melted it like soldering stuff, then, there is all this residue in my system.  I like the coiling better, (pause).  Okay, I've coiled it up, and then I melt it down.  Can I siphon it out, let's see?  I can't melt it down.

F: After you coil it up, is it still connected?

J: Not at the knee.  I can coil it up this way, but it's still connected to my waste.

F: Okay, let's look at your waist.  What's happening there?

J: I don't know, I’m looking to see if there's like a barrier.  I don't see.  I'm looking to see if it's attached there.  It might be.

F: What do you need to find out?

J: There is like a barrier there, a piece of plate glass, or plexiglass, or something.  It keeps going on the other side. Yeah. There's like a piece of plexiglass there.

F: Hmm, what would you like to do with that?

J: Saw it into pieces and take it away.  I need a high speed saw.  It's a big piece.

F: You know where it came from?

J: I grew it there.


F: You grew it.  Do you know when you started?

J: Young.

F: How young?

J: I think, fetus type young.  At five, I had it.  When I was three, I had it.  Yeah. It developed when I was a fetus.

F: Hmm, okay.

J: I had it at the very beginning.

F: Can you go back to where it came from?

J: I think it's while I'm developing.

F: In the fetus?

J: In the fetus, yeah, I don't think I see it in the egg or the sperm.

F: What are the forces, or factors, that are influencing the formation of this plexiglass, (long pauses)

J: Hmm, I get that it's something in the diet, something that my mother ate.  It's something she ate.

F: Feel it?

J: Medicine of some kind, it's all I can get.

F: Okay, I'm wondering if it's possible to go outside at the time your mother took the medicine.

J: Okay.

F: You already met her as an adult, can you see that picture?

J: Sort of, I can't really.  It doesn't look like her.  It's uhh, a white person.  But she isn't Japanese.

F: Do you see this white person?

J: Yeah.

F: What's she look like?

J: Red hair, fair.

F: What's she doing?

J: She's just standing there.

F: Where are you?

J: I'm facing her, looking at her.

F: What would you like to do?

J: I feel like I should tell her not to take any medicine, but she doesn't have any medicine, (pause)  She doesn't have any medicine.  It's kind of...

F: She's a white red-headed woman, that's who you see when you come out.

J: I think that's the person my mother is looking at, maybe that's what it is.

F: Your mother's looking at her.

J: Yeah. I need to turn around.  I can't see...  Wait a minute.  I can't see her....  I can see her outline.  I can see her hair.  I can't see her face.  I can see her hair.  I can see her body.  I can't see her face.

F: So what do you need in order to connect with her, or her tof come into form?

J: If I touch her, maybe.  She kind of fades in and out, but I can see her most of the time, but she sort of fades in and out.

F: What's important about this white, redheaded woman?


J: She's a friend of my mom's.

F: So she's a friend?

J: Yeah.

F: What can she tell you about this situation?

J: Uhm, all she can tell me is that my folks are hard working, that they're good people.  She likes them a lot.

F: Does she know what medicine your mother took, or what it was for?

J: No, somehow, I think it's like aspirin, or Tylenol, or something like that.  It’s something real common, so it's not like they had a conversation about it.  Now I can see my mother starting to take her medicine, whatever it is.

F: What do you want to do?

J: Stop her from taking it.  She's flushing them down the toilet.  She flushed them down the toilet.

F: What does she need right now?

J: Uhm, she's pretty happy, I mean, she's anxious to have a baby.  She has this friend.  She doesn't have a lot of money, but that's alright, she's alright now.

F: She's pretty okay now?

J: Yeah.

F: The stuff you did the other day helped?

J: I guess so.

F: So when you go back to the fetus, what's happening?

J: The plexiglass is still there....

F: Has there been any change?

J: Yeah, it seems to be thinner.  It's thinner, but it's still there.  I don't need a saw to take it away, I can take a pair of heavy duty scissors and cut it away.


F: What happens when you do that?

J: It works.  There's a lot of it.  We take it away in wheel barrels.  It's hard to get it away from the wire okay, we'll melt it away around the wire.

F: What's happening now?

J: I'm rolling up the wire some more.  It rolls right back up to my neck and up to the brainstem.  It goes all the way to the top of my head.  If I can just pull it loose from the top.  It seems to work.  It just closes up at the top.  l have this big ball of wire.  I don't know how to get rid of it.

F: What would you like to do with it?

J: Throw it away.  I can't get it out of my body.

F: I thought you pulled it up through the top.

J: I pulled it down.  Oh, maybe I can just schwt, schwt, schwt that way.  That's a good idea.  It works.  It’s a long cord.  Okay, it's out

F: Okay, now what's happening?

J: It's healing up at the top where it came out

F: What did you do with the wire after you took it out?

J: Oh, it's just sitting over there.

F: Is that where you want to leave it?

J: Wait a second, I have to fix this top first, okay, what do we want to do with this piece of wire?

F: So the top's fixed?

J: Mm hmm, it's just a wad of solder.  Uhm, I guess I'll put it out by the shed with the spider.

F: What happens when you do that?

J: It's fine (laughing), the spider puts webs around it

F: Now, what's happening inside?


J: The only sensation I have is around my knee.  My knee feels more loose, like it's not all tied up.  I don't feel anything, I don't feel anything anyplace else.

F: Okay

J: Maybe I feel a little loosening in the hip.  l don't think I can do anymore (laughing).  I can see pictures, but my head is going pshew. pshew. pshew, yeah, mmm.

(end of session/end of tape)