How are you, reader? I hope you have an honest assessment of how you feel, physically, mentally, and are in the best spirits possible.
I’ve gotten the picture that going through certain pains and difficulties helps you understand and lend support to people in similar circumstances, perhaps draw some relationship of comprehension for suffering that allows kindness and abundance to expand between you.
What I wondered, while going through an occasionally howling mad top and bottom toothache converging in the very back of the right side of my mouth, was what lies did I tell to draw so much trouble to my mouth? Promising you won’t lie or various other sins may start to occur to you when you become desperate for some deal to end your suffering! I wondered if I’d lied to myself maybe about the substantial dominance of good qualities in those who proved to be having more trouble coping than I’d sensed…or acknowledged. Why shove guilt into the back of my mouth, over the actions of others? Recriminations aren’t the best material for healing, really, but you want to take any set back as an opportunity to improve. At any rate, it’s not so much that I think I’m being punished; I’ve just been thinking of the very nature of using my mouth.
I was a pretty regular brusher---better now---but there just wasn’t room for everything to come in, and so promising young teeth lost out in the dental economy. However big you may hear my mouth is, there’s some uncomfortable physical limits to what can be in there!
No, objectively, I simply survived all these years without health care. Hurray, me! But my head’s been an exceptionally uncomfortable location now, much of these past two months, and when it hasn’t kept me up nights, I’ve stubbornly dealt with the pain myself, thinking the coast clear occasionally, so I can keep working and so on during the day. I am under the impression I can’t acknowledge my marriage without getting her check hit with bills that are just scary to consider! Say what you will, but lying even that much makes me uncomfortable! Especially about a truth so central.
Set aside the issues suggested so far to return to this premise of this awful pain having some sort of purpose. I can tell you I’ve got some sensation of it varying dynamically, from zero to about a seven, allowing for human pains with which I never hope to be acquainted personally. By the time it’s a five or so, I kind of have to attend it with some method. I’ve found setting up a little vibrational hum can soothe me, and without stress in my body, the pressure lays off. The quickest thing, usually, is putting a cold drink into that side of my mouth, maybe holding it there. Spicy foods? No-no. Hot tea? Forget it. There are meals I simply dread having to chew! Truthfully, having a pet around would be lovely, and I think the bonsais we have on the way will be helpful; sometimes I brave the cold a bit just to stretch my legs and take in the local animals, trees and people. But what do I think about in these painful times---so disruptive to my will?
I consider all my loved ones, and the pains I know they suffer, which sometimes don’t cross my mind. I consider the little children living anywhere they cannot get the relief I might from decongestion pills or a cold swig of soda---you realize, there are places without properly potable water. I may despise Orasol in my mouth, dread spitting it from my numb lips, but a dose of benzocaine would be mercy to those suffering without it! When I am doing better financially, I’ll do what I can to help the less fortunate, as sometimes I’ve had the prosperity to do, however humbly.
I remember my man TJ, who through no fault of his own suffers the worst migraine level head pain of anyone I’ve ever known, and how there are times he has no way of knowing when his hurt will end, can’t even hold down food, and realizes he may continue having these attacks for life. But he lives for his wife and child.
Furthermore, he’s so sunny and interesting and down-to-earth whenever he’s active, you’d never know how badly he’s just wanted to escape living in a head that seems made of unreasoning pain. If I can apply even a reflection of that man’s courage to my life’s endeavors, I will find myself increasingly uncomfortable with insecurities or self-pity. This problem puts practically his whole life on hold, sometimes, it seems, simply with the change of the weather, or for no reason at all, and if he can put together a string of days without it, it’s cause for celebration. That man, my friend, gets up every single day, doing a lot of the simple things around his house you do in yours, and makes the two people he lives with smile, and as many others as he can, because that is what he’s got to do. He doesn’t take life for granted, and will sit there in pain and smile because his smile is needed in the world. He sends me nothing but encouragement, praise, humor, and little slices of his life. Keep him in your heart for a while, would you? Think especially of his wonderful, supportive wife and child; I am so glad they can be there to light his world.
I wonder when I really hurt, how much worse is it for those who grieve, for the mother who outlives her child---Is what I’m feeling even a clue to her misery? I dealt with some very private grief myself. I aim for stoicism, but the other night, I wondered if the pain was key to simply expressing some of the emotional destruction I have felt in recent times? Maybe I could use a good cry or two?
I wonder if all this staggering pain, when it comes, is there to unleash some benevolent force in my life, out into the world? Will it, at least, make me more patient, more merciful, with those who endure pain, whether it is of their own devising or not? People have survived hard labor jobs in the kind of pain I have the luxury of babying a bit. I have this wonderful life of freedom to seek opportunities outside my door, to make new friends and meet new people, to build a fledgling business, perform, create, and so much beauty waits to be beheld. Yet, not for a second can I really feel sorry for myself…well, okay, sometimes for a second. I don’t encourage anyone who has access to avoid medical attention, but if you hurt and it ever seems to bear only disappointments, I ask you: is there some perspective to gain in the middle of your pain?
I picked up a drawing I’d started the other night, using no model---just following a vision, like our Pal the Painter, who follows his free hand with colors just as he sees them. I pictured a healer, coming into my presence to visit. I needed my reflection in the mirror to complete it; I wanted to get the hand to look right. I felt no more pain that night.
I enjoyed bringing the healer to life. I had just what I needed: an inspiration from a friend, a mental picture, blank page, reflection, and a free hand.
"Seaport Walk" One of my sweetie's new art bottles from over the past week.