My Acupuncturist Writes Screenplays
My acupuncturist and I have come up with a few unlikely metaphors that combine modern references and Chinese medicine to paint a description of all those blood vessels, organ systems, and meridians. My heart is the little kid on the playground who wants to be tough but still wonders why everyone is just a bit rough on her. My liver is the big lug who likes playing with my heart and beating up my stomach a little but swears she isn’t causing problems. And, because language is fluid and rich, my acupuncturist and I like to mix our metaphors and talk about getting out of the woods and stepping onto the beautiful prairie. Hearts and playgrounds. Livers and prairies. I’ll allow it. He once told me he used to write screenplays.
A lot of people balk at the idea of acupuncture because you have to go often for treatments in order for them to be effective. It’s a real commitment of time and effort, not just a pill to swallow. I don’t like pills, anyway. And I’m lucky that I’ve found a community acupuncture place I can call home, because it’s affordable, and it means that, for what feels like the first time in my life, I’ve been able to establish a real, solid relationship with a healthcare provider. My primary care physician probably wouldn’t recognize me if I walked past him on the street, but I feel totally at ease with bringing my acupuncturist and his wife cookies (vegan chocolate–chocolate chip, of course).
I attended a program called Freelance Edge this week, through Chicago Women in Publishing, and, like usual, I got so much more out of the evening than I originally imagined I would. Sure, it was great to listen to a panel of industry experts in fields like accounting, law, and insurance talk about self-employment in terms that us regular folks could understand. The best kernel of wisdom for me, though, came from the business development guy. As creative people, he said, we have to do the work that will put our authentic selves out there to the world, to bring value to our lives and to our community. It seems like an obvious message, but it’s often so easy to ignore the obvious.
So, what does business development have to do with my screenplay-writing acupuncturist? Well, maybe on the surface, writing screenplays sounds like the right avenue for creative expression, but I know, after months of great acupuncture treatments from a healthcare provider whom I trust, that poking people with needles, and maybe throwing in a few mixed metaphors for fun, is really the right field for him, and for his community. I’ve done my own fair share of wandering through careers, and I’ve found my home with editing and writing, but what about that perfect intersection between the work that will show my authentic self to the world and the work that will pay my bills? Let’s just say that my heart’s still on the playground, not the prairie.by