non-earthly lovepublished: 2013-04-10
“Neutral,” said my osteopath, “I maintain neutrality while treating you.” He was referring to how I laid on his table, in undies, my eyes closed. He was doing something to the membranes around my skull. It’s hard to say what exactly, but there was a solemn intensity to it. He said that sometimes, he looks at the panorama photo of trees and snow on the wall behind my feet. It reminds him to stay in that neutral place.
I wondered: have any of his clients ever irritated him so much that he couldn’t treat them?
“A non-earthly affection,” was his answer to this, “you’re to love each client on a non-earthly level.”
It had me thinking of the way I write and develop characters. Writing can be exhausting because in a way, I become that character. I look through the characters’ eyes, feel what the characters feel. The osteopath unknowingly taught me a valuable lesson regarding the craft of writing: do not become the characters but maintain neutrality. And love the character on a non-earthly level.