For Benyamin. Syrian.
Estranged from his family. Alone in a hospital bed. A silent Pressing Session, communicated through eye contact, compassion and pure human presence.
We arranged for a translator to be present as I offered the Session experience to Benyamin. Homer, our translator, speaking in Assyrian, described the concept as I stood by the bedside, watching this small man receive the message and consider it. I was able to watch his face closely, see his eyes take in the idea and then begin to respond back to Homer.
Benyamin said he would love to “transfer my emotions to the artist and see them reflected back to me through art”. This was one of the most poetic responses I may have ever had to the offer of a Session. There was a depth and understanding of what I was there to do that was profound. I felt that I understood him, and him, me. Mutual understanding has a potency that is hard to measure in words.
The following day, I returned with Homer to conduct the Session but Benyamin’s physical condition had deteriorated and along with it, his emotional wellness. He wasn’t able to speak much, he found it hard to access memories.
So I just stayed in the room and began to create. We would look at one another, speaking without words, simply connecting as two human beings who were vulnerable and gentle at that very moment in time.
When the Ink-Pressing was complete, I mounted it on his room wall and quietly left. I touched his hand softly and thanked him for sharing his presence with me, hoping he saw the honour that I felt in mine.