I witness people. I observe them walking. I watch them across the way. I often wonder if they are in pain. I ask myself questions about their day. I imagine what they ate. I don't do this with any attachment of being right or wrong; I don't have much judgement around the story. It is ultimately my story. Sometimes it is a mental fidget or game to play; sometimes it is a conscious practice of observation; sometimes it is for pure enjoyment.
I'll track the movement of their hips, down to their legs and arrive at the feet already assuming/knowing something about their mechanics, their injuries, their shoes. Then I play a game: this or that. And I ask questions. Did they wake up early and pray or press snooze too many times, arriving late? Did they kiss someone goodnight last night or watch television alone? Will they speak to their mother this week? Is she still with us on this planet? Do they feel loved or not? And why not? A great deal of empathy arrives in these moments. I feel a deep understanding that this person has suffered, has celebrated, has grown in, and lost some form of love.
It tugs at something deep within. It can bring tears to my eyes, and a smile to my face. I don't want to fix them with my trained massage hands or give them yoga instruction on their stance. I don't want to scold them about their shoes or tell them to wear a coat. But very often, I do want to give them a hug and look into their eyes and witness their soul, even for a moment, and let them know: I see you.