My briefcase is like acupuncture

by Mary Beth Huwe

For a recording of me reading this post to you, click here.

I hate to brag. I really do. It makes me uncomfortable and hot around the collar… and various other regions. So it’s not braggadocio – but just good, old-fashioned, unbiased reporting –  when I tell you that my briefcase unites people, and is a metaphor for life and healing.


#1: She’s A Family Heirloom

Here she is. What a specimen!

The briefcase was originally my dad’s. Dad believes objects are made to be used up. There’s a lot of wisdom and carpe diem-ing in that philosophy. It also means that we are judicious when purchasing gifts for him.

This briefcase, miraculously, escaped the Dad Treatment. It came to me in fabulous, mint condition. Dad describes it as “burgundy.” To my eyes, it is purple with pink stitching. It’s as though she was, lo these many years, purchased just for me.

She was not. She was purchased for Dad, who doesn’t conceive of her as a “she.” He quite merrily used this briefcase indifferent to its having a gender. And I love that.

I love that we can both use the same item, 30 years apart from each other – but at the same point in our lives (our 30s) – and that we can see that item differently.

It’s not unlike what we, as people, can do with our inherited health and characteristics. We can have endlessly different orientations to the similarities we share.

#2: She’s Wildly Relevant in Modernity

Pockets! Flaps! Not too many, not too few!
Pockets! Flaps! Not too many, not too few!

This lady is vintage with wicked-useful applications, even in today’s world. Her pockets are the perfect size for files, my phone, my business cards, my travel size tissues. Her flaps hold an appropriate number of files, and she will not permit me to nonsensically pack her with more work than I need or can achieve. My Mac fits in there perfectly, and has the added benefit of being padded and protected.

Her “oldness” doesn’t make her irrelevant. It makes her practical. And savvy. She is tried-and-true. In all of these ways, she is like acupuncture.

#3. She’s a Head-Turner and a Heart-Cheerer

People comment upon my briefcase nearly everyday. There’s a certain neighborhood coffee shop I frequent, where strangers look up from the phones or conversations to say, “Wow. I love your briefcase.”

Friends know me by it. Contained in this baby is a world of possibility – a system of organization that can support unbridled creativity. Just like . . . acupuncture.

These writings are an exploration of what it means to be human – to be sick, to be well, and to heal – viewed through the lens of acupuncture and, occasionally, herbal medicine. These writings aren’t medical advice. And they aren’t meant to be the final word on… well, anything. Rather, I hope they are a beginning of a conversation you have with someone in your life. Thanks for reading! ~MBH

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