Friday, March 9, 2012

Poem: Witness

Having read the previous post (also found in the TBIPS Spring 2010 Newsletter) on Winnicott and the comment " ... to recognize that we all need, at times, the presence of the effected other to come into being", David Baker, PhD recently wrote this poem (after a party) with a thought to the analytic encounter:

I know you’ll know what I’m talking about.
You’ve walked out of the house
Into the yard
In the middle of your own party
And looked back through the living room window to see
The outlines of your friends
As they laughed and danced and drank
And you wondered
Among other things
If they knew you were missing
From your own party.
Wondered if they knew you were out there watching them,
If they would look back at you through the window,
Maybe set down their drink and ponder you
As you ponder them.
In the air just above you
Thoughts rise to meet theirs and from that ether is born
a knowing of each other.
It’s hard to know each other at a party.
We play at it, we like a party.
We like to see and be seen,
We like to be known,
Like to be missed.
But the almost-collisions of human-to-human
Never really allows for the deeper knowing.
It’s the depths we crave
Within ourselves and in others.
We need witnesses to our life, in order to really have our lives.
Perhaps that is why you walked outside,
Looked back,
Delighted in them.
In those few moments you were witness to their lives,
Held them, loved them into the eternity of your own memory.
How fortunate they were.
How they may never know about the gift you gave
By stepping out and away
To hold them closer than you ever could
Had you stayed in the room
Politely listening to their laments over real estate.

David Baker

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