The Mystery of Pain by Emily Dickinson
Pain has an element of blank;
It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there were
A day when it was not.
It has no future but itself,
Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive
New periods of pain.
You are wondering how anyone could be grateful for a life in pain. Pain, necessary as it can be sometimes, is hardly anything to be grateful for. It is pain afterall. Especially, when you (like me) cannot remember a day in your life without pain – be it physical or emotional pain – it becomes very hard to see anything positive in pain. And in fact, the title of this blog entry is a bit misleading as I am not really grateful for pain but for knowing people, who in spite of living a life in constant, sometimes unbearable pain, have not lost their joy in life. They have not lost the ability to laugh, love and live.
I went to the doctors this morning to have my blood tested as I am experiencing certain symptoms again which can be avoided or rather minimised with simple vitamin injections. I suffer from enough chronic pain that I do not need to add to it the pain caused by a simple deficiency (although believe me I have done so many times in the past as I hate going to the doctors with an intensity you couldn’t believe).
At and after the doctors I met two of my colleagues, one of them is actually a good friend of mine (I have to admit that I do not have that many friends in Scotland as making friends gets harder the older you get and only after school/uni do you realise how many of your friends you met at these two institutions). These two are the funniest and most joyful people that I know on this earth and their attitude is so contagious. It is even more inspiring considering that these two live a life characterised by pain. Especially my friend has to live with a pain that makes me sick when I just think about it. My chronic pain and other issues are a joke compared to what she has to go through. Like the other one she is a very artistic person and she used to be a potterer. However, she had to give up this passion as her dislocated hands and fingers could no longer cope with the material. Still, she finds ways to live her creative side and believe it or not she is a highly productive knitter – she simply had to find her own style of knitting to overcome her physical restrictions.
So, I am not grateful for her pain or mine but I am grateful that they show me that you can live an active life – not always happy but mostly content – even if you’re faced with such hardship. I am grateful for knowing these people, their company, their laughter and that they are so inspiring. I am inspired by the fact that they seize the days and fight every single day so that their poor health won’t keep them from living. I should definitely take a page from their book and lead a more content and joyful life myself.
Pic from heres
I am not sure which Complete Works of Emily Dickinson I downloaded onto my Kindle.