The Aword

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Descriptions of pain

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Descriptions of pain:

Having had chronic pain myself for over 30 years, and preparing talks and articles for others with pain, I am always on the lookout for descriptions that resonate. Here's one I've found recently, in "Belong to Me" by Marisa de los Santos.

"I wanted to say something about pain. Because even though I had absolutely no use for it at the time, and, in fact, would have traded minor body parts to be rid of it...pain turned out to be instructive deep, I named it "a wilderness of pain". ...I won't describe it in detail, mainly because I can't. For much of it, I was pretty out to lunch (a very bad lunch served by small red imps in hell.)...The important part, the part that would matter afterward, was how small I became at the end, pain paring off parts of me until I was all but gone, a tiny black comma on an immense white page. Fear went, then intelligence, worry, courage, and charm...Complex emotions evaporated. Humor vanished as though it had never been. My every neurosis went up in smoke, along with most of the English language...Yes, pain is abominable, a nightmare, but pain reveals, when we've had to throw all else overboard, what is left in our personal sinking boat."

Have a good week


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