Barrett L. Dorko, P.T.

     All you need is a telephone, and an open mind.
                                             Dionne Warwick

I've joined another listserv on the internet. This is a group of people with a common interest that post comments and questions to the whole group via email.

This new group refers to themselves as "bodyworkers" and they are composed mainly of massage therapists, students of Reiki, Alexander Technique, Reflexology and several other disciplines both familiar and esoteric. I gather that there are only a few physical therapists.

Recently, a new member introduced herself. She is just beginning her career and wants to do "everything" for her clients. If it's possible to truly sense the enthusiasm of another in cyberspace, she's certainly got it. I can hear her excitement now that she's found her calling, and there's no hint of greed or cynicism in her note.

There are in every culture some stories that endure from one generation to the next. They take on a life of their own, are seen from numerous perspectives, and their multiple meanings and symbolism are examined endlessly. References to certain details or lines of dialogue pop up in political or social commentary.

In our culture, The Wizard of Oz, originally written by L. Frank Baum in 1900 is such a story. It enjoyed enormous popularity in the first half of the century, and this was enhanced markedly by the making of the movie in 1938.

My favorite relationship in the story is that between Dorothy and Professor Marvel (I'm speaking of the movie version here).

You may recall that early in the story Dorothy has run away from home, and has decided to take Toto "far, far away" from the clutches of Elmira Gultch. She comes across a seemingly benign and generous man who amazes her with his apparent ability to read her mind. Professor Marvel is a turn of the century version of the psychic hot line, and he manages to impress Dorothy so much that she asks to travel with him. (Toto, too).

At this point, he invites her into his wagon and asks her to close her eyes. This is a ploy so that he might search through her basket, where he finds a photograph of Auntie Em in front of their farmhouse. His subsequent revelations are so remarkable that Dorothy is totally convinced when he describes his vision of her aunt stricken ill and falling to her bed. Dorothy races from his camp, directly into the tornado, and on to Oz.

To many, Marvel is a beloved character. After all, doesn't he get Dorothy to realize others care for her, and that she should return home? To them I say we might consider that all Marvel did was get her out of his hair (Toto, too). If they think he didn't extract a price for his psychic reading, they should watch what he does with Dorothy's treasured photograph.

Frank Morgan, the wonderful actor who plays both Marvel and The Wizard, also plays the door man to the Emerald City, the handsome cab driver, and the Wizard's guard. It seems that at every transition, Marvel is there to greet us.

I read this young lady's note on the internet, I sense her wide-eyed acceptance of methods that seem to help others, and I know how easy it might be to convince her of so many things. She's Dorothy, and she's not yet been to Oz. There Dorothy learns that "If my heart's desire isn't in my own back yard, I shouldn't look any further, because I never really lost it at all".

Now, I'm not certain exactly what all that means, but I gather that we needn't go outside of natural science in order to be effective with care.

But I know that the deep desire to help others is seen as an opportunity by many Marvels out there, and they're just waiting for us to come skipping down the road, our treasure ready for the taking.