Lately I’ve been practising metta meditation, and “I am here with you” has come to be one of my lovingkindness mantras: for myself, for people I love, for neutral acquaintances, for people I have difficulties with, for cats.
Today I read this post by my amazing friend Clare, which introduces an exercise for meeting an emotion as a being. Then I wrote this:
The story of Grief
I am in a room that is not dark but is not sunny. The door to my room is open. Grief comes in with a hunched back, his face is white, his nose is long, his cheeks are hollowed. I pat the low cushion next to me and he sits down with difficulty. He puts a bony hand around my shoulders. He doesn’t look at me until I look at him. His eyes are pale and wide and open. His mouth is small and shows no expression.
“What do you want?” he asks.
“I don’t know. I never seem to know what I want. Certainly not in the long view, often not even moment to moment.”
“That’s ok.” He starts massaging my shoulders and I relax a little beneath his bony fingers. After a while he leans his head against my temple and I can feel the slight movement of his temporomandibular joint. I can hear his light and vulnerable breathing. I don’t want him to go away. Our silence together is companionable. I feel an openness in our quietness.
“Are you lonely?” I ask.
He is quiet in thought for a while.
“Not when I’m with you,” he says finally.
I need and want to make space for him, to be with him.
And then I was reminded of this post by my wonderful friend Verdant.