A Woman Once Said:
There is something about pain that can seemingly purify thoughts. Seemingly. For if you reach a level of pain, it sharpens the senses. One can’t know if the sharpened senses are real, or surreal, or ultrareal…one only knows that the world takes on a reddened hue. I am speaking of physical pain, for when you have emotional pain, the senses seem to become sluggish and the haze is yellow or brownish blackish brackish. With physical pain, I have lifted from my body and hovered above and watched my weakness with disdain.
I have dreamed without sleeping, and wached the Shadow Man stare at me as I lay floating in a sea of nerve endings glowing red. I have tossed about words and truths and lies and wondered if and when I could write about them-shouldn’t I just get up from the bed or couch and relate all my genius? For, I pretend I am a genius sometimes–a brilliant mind trapped in a silly human body. But when morning comes, and the pain abated with sleep, I revert to plain me–seeker of the soulbeing of you. Yes, I said seeker of the soulbeing of You. Because, though I seem reclusive, though I stay inside my cave more than I venture out, I am hovering around you, reading the aura that surrounds You. My eyes flick over you or your words or your images, and I seem to dismiss, but I do not. For what I “See” is filed away, deep inside of me, in this spot I use just for You. And when even I am most unaware, You come back, and out from my fingertips You fly, and there You are, a character acting out life’s terrible beauty in a story or paragraph or phrase or sentence or word. A beautiful idea of you all encased in language.
Pain can make one feel as if they are unique. As if everyone else is nubile as a deer leaping across the field towards something she sees in the distance-a bit of corn, or maybe a dew-filled flower, or to her special hiding place. In the night hours, when all is dark, and as last night when the rain fell hard -droplets pounding the roof in a fury, I did not pity the part of me that demanded attention to the fiery parts racing down my spine and legs and feet. No, for isn’t there a You-the one who knows the true meaning of Pain? Yes, I think of You, and my pain grows small, even in its frustratingly bad parts, even as I toss and turn and wish it would just stop. Does pain alter me? Does it make me unaware of larger things or hyperaware of everything?
One night, I woke and Pain said, “Hello, sorry to offend you, truly I don’t wish to be here anymore than you wish me to. I would rather be called something else at times, just as you do. Do you think it’s easy being hated and feared? I do my job and that is what I do, so, pardon me while I zip through you for a while, doing my job, being what I need to be.” I answered, “Do your worst! I am strong.” Pain sighed through me and I felt sorry for it.
I thought about how one day I would be a very old woman. And how I’d walk crooked to the coffee pot, pour a cup, holding the cup with trembly hands, and then, from there, I’d shuffle to the porch, carefully sit in my rocker, pull a throw over my knees, and rock rock rock rock and think about the days when I was young and leaping to the dew filled flower. I would rock rock and remember all my yesterdays. And I would drink every bit of my strong black coffee and think, “Today I will write, and then I will rock some more, and then I will read, and then I will rock some more and then nap, then eat, then rock then sleep.” I hope that happens–I hope I have that gift of growing to be a very old rocking chair woman.
And in the dark, I smiled, and I lay there, and I felt Pain, but I didn’t care. Who guarantees this life is supposed to be pain-free? I can imagine I was once this being of light in the heavens, and as I looked down, I said, “I want to visit the earth as a human.” And, some greater being of greater light said, “So it shall be, but, how do you want to live?” And I, being fearless said, “I don’t care, I just want to live on the earth for a time as a solid body with nerve endings in and out.” And there I went, shot down to earth, come out squalling and red-faced into the world–first entrance was pain and light and noise and freedom. And everything that happens I have felt it and every pain physical and emotional and even when I railed against it, the being who was the light where I will return will think, “I felt it all! I was human. I knew things.” And it won’t seem but a minute that I was here, just a minute. Just a minute. A minute. Minute