A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Last month I was pulling up to a red light at the end of Route 391 in Holyoke, almost rolling to a stop, when a car came past at around 80 miles per hour, no brakes, sparks flying from the wheels. It smashed into the front corner of my car, knocking me into the vehicle ahead of me, then continued through the intersection, plowing into a car crossing the intersection and taking out a streetlight in the process. The driver got a ticket, and even her insurance company admitted that the four-car accident was entirely her fault.

It was immediately obvious that the car I had been driving (no, it wasn't my antique Mercedes) was a total loss. Fender, bumper, door, hood, light, wheel, axle, and transmission all damaged. Less obvious what the damage might have been to me.

I was wearing a seat belt, and didn't have a scratch on me. Once I had dealt with having the car towed, however, I went to the emergency room to be checked out. The doctor poked me, asked me a few questions, and gave me a Motrin. Also a referral to a physical therapist I could use if I developed any symptoms down the road.

A week went by, then two, then three. By the first week of December, I was so sore and stiff that I decided to avail myself of the therapy offered to me. I decided to try Tom Bianco, about whom I'd written two articles. He calls his business "Alternatives in Physical Therapy." Although he's a registered P.T., he does things a little differently than most. So many people I'd interviewed for those articles raved about him, I was curious to see for myself. One thing I like is that he runs his operation out of the YMCA, to which I can easily walk.

Five years ago, I was in fabulous shape, bounding out of bed every morning like a four-year-old. Then I was in a head-on collision which landed me in a chiropractor's office and finally in traditional physical therapy. Now with this recent accident comes another setback. Let's see what the combined forces of Tom Bianco and the YMCA can do.

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