I’m currently having an emotional wobble, trying to ride the sweet spot between the warm glow of nostalgia and the darkness of melancholy. I’ve been with old friends these past few days — such sweet reunion and now such sad farewells. During this time we’ve had coffee, drunk wine, and shared lunch, dinner, and breakfast — and done yoga! We’ve relived our youth a little, remembering how we used to be when we were (ahem) young: the hopes and aspirations we had, the shared jokes, the mutual lack of money.
Inevitably we compared this with how we are now and the way our lives are going. The way we are all turning out now we’re properly grown up. And actually, although we’re happily a little less financially straitened, much of the rest of it is still the same. So we’ve slotted easily back together these past few days and it’s just been so good. I just wish the jigsaws of our lives weren’t usually kept in such separate boxes, oceans apart.
Seeking lessons from my yoga practice, I’ve been focussing on staying in the moment, enjoying the richness of the passing experience, aware that it will be transitory followed by a necessary letting go. It’s like that time in class when the teacher reminds us that all we have is the breath in each moment: so be aware of it, don’t let the moments in life slip by unnoticed, instead live it and breath it and revel in all of it, the highs and lows, the absorbing intensities and the absurd mundanities.
So this is the yoga of friendship this week: I’ve watched smiles appearing and seen once-familiar gestures re-enacted, I’ve delighted in hearing again variations in accents and vocabulary as we each speak our own dialect of English, we’ve embraced our similarities and differences, we’ve hugged and kissed, and finally we waved goodbye.
Saṃtoṣa in action? No, I’m probably guilty of abhiniveśa, in the sense of not being ready to let go. It’s been like watching a film where you can only indulgence your sadness and regret that the denouement must happen because you already know there’s a sequel in the making. I know this is a luxury. There aren’t always sequels in life; the final scene is inevitable.
Before the melancholy and rāga (attachment) get the better of me, I’ll go now to my practice, which is always a practice of being in the present moment and finding that that is, in fact, enough. And I’ll dedicate my practice today to D and to C.
With love. Om shanti.