Thursday, August 26, 2010
Does anyone else feel that in the depths of our despair there is this keen, thin, strand of hope that pierces the darkness like a stiletto? It’s a thin, fine line that can get through the tightest spot. It’s a keen high C in a roomful of dull hums.
When I’m in physical pain, I imagine I’m surrounded by a raging storm. Where should you go when you are caught in a storm? Search for the calm at the center of the storm. I have been in the center of a storm; there is a preternatural silence that stops your eardrums from thrumming, that you wonder if you’ve lost your hearing.
So when I’m caught in a pain storm, I dig straight into the pain and seek out the center. It’s a strange exercise that I used to do as a child. I ran into the pain, I fought it with a fearlessness that we are instinctively born with. I created a mantra:
“This does not touch me, I cannot feel the rain. I cannot feel the poison coursing through my veins.”
I’m reminded of it as I struggle with psychic pain, a far more difficult fight and not so easy to transmute. By psychic pain I mean an emotional toll that shakes our confidence, our ego and creates a dark struggle of self-doubt.
But even there, there is that thin line of hope. I may not be able to fight this storm, but perhaps I don’t have to, some storms just have to be endured. Like the proverbial sword, it’s strength, it’s sharpness, it’s endurance comes from its tempering in the fire and in the hammer blows.
I am a sword being tempered.