Several friends have recently discovered the benefits of sitting with their pain, observing their negative emotions. They neither suppress them, nor give them permission to dictate their actions. If they have something to learn from the emotions, they do so. Otherwise, they take note of them until they dissipate. Sometimes they are given a gift, an insight into an untended brokenness or deep yearning; at other times the feelings are only shadows themselves, left over from wrongs long forgiven, or wisps of nostalgia which dissipate like mists caught in the morning sun. No matter, they remain present, perhaps at the moment weakened, but strong enough to wait it out.
The First Night of Fall and Falling Rain
By Delmore Schwartz
The common rain had come again
Slanting and colorless, pale and anonymous,
Fainting falling in the first evening
Of the first perception of the actual fall,
The long and late light had slowly gathered up
A sooty wood of clouded sky, dim and distant more and
Until, as dusk, the very sense of selfhood waned,
A weakening nothing halted, diminished or denied or set
Neither tea, nor, after an hour, whiskey,
Ice and then a pleasant glow, a burning,
And the first leaping wood fire
Since a cold night in May, too long ago to be more than
Merely a cold and vivid memory.
Staring, empty, and without thought
Beyond the rising mists of the emotion of causeless
How suddenly all consciousness leaped in spontaneous
Knowing without thinking how the falling rain (outside, all
In slow sustained consistent vibration all over outside
Tapping window, streaking roof,
running down runnel and drain
Waking a sense, once more, of all that lived outside of us,
Beyond emotion, far beyond the swollen
distorted shadows and lights
Of the toy town and the vanity fair
of waking consciousness!
from Last and Lost Poems of Delmore Schwartz © The Vanguard Press.