We are a tight little group and it is shocking when someone leaves, whether we expect it or not. They leave a hole like a pulled tooth. But soon the gap heals over, and we continue chewing comfortably through our lives.
This too is part of our practice in this little petri dish called Upaya. People come and people go. At first we are strangers, and then we get used to each others’ charms and idiosyncracies and neuroses. We quickly become fixtures in each others’ lives. But then just when you come to really know someone, to be familiar, maybe even to love them in a way—they vanish. The mailman who comes to the door every day, the barrista at the favourite coffee shop, the roommate, co-worker, partner, lover. They are always there, until one day, they are gone.
Our practice is intimacy. Our practice is to share experience with someone fully, to live out a relationship in complete integrity—whether that means weeding a garden together, or cutting someone’s hair, or creating a family or a lifetime together. Relationships are valued through quality, not duration. Our practice is to relate without stinting. Without grasping. Without reservation and without fear.
In the end, everybody leaves.