Please, sadness, don’t leave me.
You have softened my hard heart and opened my eyes to see secret sorrow bravely borne in familiar faces all around me.
You have unearthed my dormant soul, giving tender shoots of desire room to breathe again and slowly climb towards the light. You have revealed with sorrow what has been my delight, and with grief what remains my unfathomable love. You have given me hope that delight and love can grow to guide and sustain me, that holy desire can give birth in me – through me – to life in the world.
Your gentle tears make me feel alive and present, tender and open, woman and human.
So, sadness, why do you stand up now to take your leave? Why so soon?
Is my loss, my need, too small for you to stay any longer? Am I so shallow, my life so easy, that you cannot feel at home here with me?
Why does your gentle hand pry away my clinging fingers? And why – do you know – DO they cling?
Tell me, sadness, is it GOOD that you leave me?
Is your work complete here, your time done? What is it that you came to do, and what do you see in me now that turns you towards my door?
Sweet sadness, I cannot hide from you what I have tried to hide from myself:
That your tears have not only opened my eyes but, lately, have also threatened to close them to the gifts that crowd so thickly around me; that they have opened my heart towards others, but have sometimes also turned it away, and in, and down.
Perhaps you feel that I toy with you now, USE you – to feel alive and exceptional and entitled – and you know that the hard work of sorrow must give way to the hard work of practised gratitude in the everyday, and of life and love re-gifted to the least of these.
So, sadness, if you must go away, then take with you ingratitude and self-importance, but please leave behind soft-heartedness and thankfulness and compassionate presence.
I will leave the door unlocked for you; your tentative knock will no longer be ignored. If it is your time to come and eat with me again then you will be welcomed here, as will your sister joy whose light step I hear approaching as you bid me farewell with a final glance and a fond smile.