Reverie

I sat today with an older woman
age 85 recounting her sadnesses
her head leaning forward
shoulders heavy
barely any pauses
in her litany.

As our hour goes on
I ask if she’d like some conversation
“yes but first I need to tell you more…”
perhaps that’s what is needed,
to speak, to be heard
and so I listen.

As the hour is ending my mind wanders
glimpsing a memory of my friend Norie
crawling under the table in the hospital
to hold our friend’s feet during a time of darkness
the needed medicine for that day and other days
I wonder… and ask the woman if I may touch her feet.
She is startled and says yes.

I drop to the floor and place a hand around each ankle
holding her feet silently, my head bowed.
She goes silent and then I hear her sob
“no one has touched me for years”
we hold this silent pause.

The hour is over.

Pamela Dintaman, 2017
Reverie… paying attention to what pops up, mind wandering,
an important part of the process of listening.
Credit to August Cwik’s workshop Nov 2019 for this understanding of reverie…
Sometimes we are diverted to or distracted by something else during a session,
but we can realize it IS connected to the conversation.
Images, thoughts, feelings, books, myths, flotsam and jetsam–
that pop up can be the compass to the work
and the things we sometimes ignore in ourselves,
in a conversation, in a therapy session.
It is actually when we get into theory
that we are farthest away from experiencing,
it is a form of distancing–rather than
entering into that space of healing.
“Let the imagination be the eyes of the heart.”
–Cwik