Pain BeGone

When I was a kid, the last of five, I was sometimes a bit slow tucking in to whatever goodies were on offer. Apparently I used to say in a plaintive voice, ‘Poor me, gokka none.’ (poor me, got none). I think that is quite hilarious and often, when I feel sorry for my self, I say, ‘Poor me, gokka none’, and end up laughing.

The other night I was given (somehow) the instruction to release pain, to disassociate from it. I think I was beginning to define myself according to my pain, according to the weariness and depression associated with All This. As if I want to recognise myself as a person in pain, as if I want other people to recognise me as a person in pain. Why? Habit? Unconscious insanity? Do I want people to feel sorry for me? Why? Perhaps to get something? Sympathy for example, or stuff.

Really, everything is ok for us. Things proceed, we will have a house soon enough, and for goodness sake, it will be new! I get to choose tiles! I must keep my head out of suffering so that I can actually enjoy this once in a lifetime opportunity.

We have plenty of stuff. We even get to give things away because, for example, we may have enough cups, but then someone turns up with a cup or cups that are more beautiful, or that are given with such love that it will always shine from the object. So we receive these gifts and send the ones we with less desirability back to the op shop.

The instruction about pain was that, if I am to be of any use in a world of suffering, then I have to release my attachment, not only from my own pain, but from being consumed by the pain of other sentient beings. Nurses and other medicos learn this, eventually.

Anyhow, the following morning when I got the weeps, I had my first practice of sitting outside my pain, and it was very instructive to have a part of me observing. It took a lot of the heat out of it. We will see if I remember this lesson next week. But, for those workers in psychology who care for me, don’t worry. I do intend to cry when I need to. (Like I could stop!) I am not setting myself up to sublimate pain or be forever wounded.

Here is a Goddess figurine created by the melting glass of some window or other.

(Background artwork by Edward Bassingthwaighte)

How amazing that destruction can create anything at all, let alone beauty! Of course it can, in this universe that (inexplicably) creates order from chaos, and (more explicably) chaos from order. In my art, especially the last abstract exhibition, I explored this. Creating chaos and pushing it towards order, and vice versa. Something that is truly ordered is often as boring as a politician’s rhetoric. It sits on a very thin line and is easily toppled towards chaos, a state wherein it is much more interesting and fertile.

Perhaps this is the lesson of covid, and the other disasters that have and will befall us in this era. Perhaps we, as a species, had become too ordered, too complacent, too greedy for an unsustainable normalcy. Perhaps, if we are to thrive, we must shake up our norms. And I don’t just mean politically. I mean personally also. Face your pain, embrace the disorder in your life, be with the discomfort, and transcend it.

4 thoughts on “Pain BeGone

  1. “…too greedy for an unsustainable normalcy.”
    This is certainly true on this side of the pond.
    Too greedy for it, and too eager to go back to it, as if it was all that great.
    I am repeatedly struck (usually struck dumb) by our culture’s far-too-well-developed ability to convince ourselves that “all this” is ok. How easily we turn a blind eye.

    Sorry, I guess I’m ranting, but your words struck a chord. How many folks who have suffered so much less are so eager to not have their “world” disturbed. It’s….well….disturbing.

    Good to see the steps on your journey of healing. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Ranting is necessary when one feels so impotent in the face of broad scale stupidity, but especially leadership stupidity. Our government has just put a shitload into defence while cutting education and other necessities. They did (so far) handle covid better than some and now feel like they have the right to destroy our society. But yes. It’s the general populace that worries me. More interested in getting back to the coffee shops than learning anything for this massive lesson.
      I hope you’re going ok Johny. Interesting times! Stay well.

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