The above line from “Burnt Norton” by T.S. Eliot is all the more haunting in its full surrounding lines. In part:
“And the bird called, in response to
The unheard music hidden in the the shrubbery,
And the unseen eyebeam crossed, for the roses
Had the look of flowers that are looked at.”
Often when I look at someone who has presented themselves for a session with me, and see tracks of ways the one has presented themselves, and how that music has played out in their structure, I am left kind of stunned by the richness of that self.
When I first began working, I asked people to let me see them from the back first, as it was easier to get the images without their regard. Now, I still like to have people start to tell their story while they are facing away from me. Some of the next lines of the Eliot poem say:
“Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present“.
That one end, now before me, must be reconciled with what is possible for change toward what the client wants, which is always better structure, better posture, less pain, and better function. What must be reconciled is whether I can imagine that happening. When I can’t, I have to call down the past from them.
Has anything ever worked to help you feel better? It is not that I need to know what it was, it is that if something helped, there is hope.
I am calling down the “unheard music hidden in the shrubbery” of poor hurting
structure. How much health is present? How much character is present?
And then: How much regard has the client for that unseen eyebeam of the “shoulds” of “common knowledge” and culture? Do they get their main information from popular magazines? Are they all about mechanical information? Will the music of all or any of that, which is there,
more surely be revealed, get in the way of our work?
Will the client be open to learning a new vision, one in which the “looked at”
roses can be allowed to flower with new and better music and one’s own
I no longer take before and after pictures of my clients. For one thing, most are not crazy about having their picture taken in their underwear, and for another,
seeing people all free and then all posing before the camera got onerous to me.
If you want to see pictures, though, then Google images has a ton of them:
In closing, MIGHT be fun for you to do a little riff on an old Humphrey Bogart line, WHO’S LOOKING AT YOU, KID?