August 11, 2020

Sitting with Loneliness.

I sit

I sit and I catch myself in a story,

a deeply familiar story,

I’ve told myself a version of this story again and again,

though the players sometimes change,

I turn the gaze of my awareness to face it fully,

dropping the narrative of the story that falls away like autumn leaves on a windy day.

The bare bones, the trunk, the roots left to look at,

“What feel is this?”

and from somewhere I cannot describe but whose wisdom is undeniable, the answer arises,




ah, loneliness is present,

this is what it feels like to be lonely,

as if I didn’t know,

I search for it in my body,

the hard, cold, tension that runs up my spine like a rod in my back,

up my spine and spreading out over the upper back and shoulder,

smouldering, pulsing pain radiating from between the spine and the left shoulder blade,

like a great fish hook, sutured through the back of my heart,

keeping me from moving forward,

and yet there is no way back,

perceptions of the body feel distorted,

the left side bigger, denser, hard and rigid,

the right hardly perceptible,

the tension rises to the left side of the face and the cheek twitches.


“Oh, baby girl,” I say, to my wounded, lonely self,

“My poor, poor baby girl,

I’m here, I love you,

I will sit here with you in this loneliness,

in this body,

on this cushion,

I won’t leave you,

I am here, my sweet baby girl.”


The body begins to cry,

the shoulders shake and the breathing shifts to sobbing out exhalations,

the in breath struggling to inhale,

salty water streams down my cheeks, turning in toward the mouth,

the nose runs and I lick the upper lip,

as my body shakes and shudders like thunder in a storm,

“I know it hurts, I know it hurts,

it hurts so much baby girl,”

I say it over and over.


The storm abates,

the body calms and the cheeks dry,

softness is present in the heart,

I can feel hand on hand,

the breath regulates, becomes steady,

I feel its familiar comings and goings at the nostrils, on the upper lip,

I hear it in my inner ears,

now the inhale is subtly active, the exhale more passive,

there is only the breath now,

I curiously look for the intention to breath,

“Where does my breath come from?”

a gentle smile appears upon the face,

the clouds all gone now, the birds start to sing, sunlight filters through lush green leaves, and gives rise to the sweet scent from the rain,

and I drop into a stiller stillness.

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