I think we undervalue pain. Like spiders. Like mold.
We fear it sufficiently. Extremely.
We make avoidance of pain the goal for our lives.
Each added painful experience diminishes our capacity. Our ability.
Like multiplied negative numbers, we diminish
with each tearing, ripping. gnawing, pain.
I think we undervalue pain.
I think, like dark matter, it is the great universal mystery.
Making all things possible.
The balance that holds us bound and connected.
That keeps us from flying apart into oblivion.
Pains makes us heroes. it defines our joys.
And refines our strengths.
We are compassionate only in it’s presence.
Of course, we know this. We understand the interplay.
But we still run from it terrified.
I think we undervalue pain.
My Step grandfather died this morning.
I wasn’t there. But he was surrounded
By his greatest living loves.
He marked the end of his 98 years on earth
With sweetness and tenderness
Telling my grandmother those words that will travel with her
Til she lays her head down to rest eternal.
Sometimes I horde my victories
Waiting for the crucial moment
Like Oreos in a food shortage-
They are ecstasy, until malnutrition sets in
Remember that time I was right,
was better than you?
Remember when I was smarter
than anyone else in the room?
But I still don’t feel better.
Now where did I put those Oreos…
For days I’ve been surrounded. Women. Children. Family. Like air inhaled. Like a chest swollen and expanded with breath. I feel bigger. Healthier. Relieved. Calm. This won’t last. I’ll go back to a certain solitude tomorrow. But for now we are together.
Been married for 13 years. 13 years taught me that you really do fall in. And out. And in love with the same person. That good sex becomes great sex with effort and vulnerability. That if you really want to improve a relationship you have to accept that your partners experience of you is the truth about you too. That forgiveness and humility can be everything. That kids suck. And that they are a beautiful. Complicated. Joy. And that having four of them creates teeth brushing hell every night. But family is a wonder and ages well. Like wine. Like cheese. If you care enough to do it better every day.
Start slow. Small. Every. Typed. Word. Matters.
There is nothing to say that matters to anyone. All opinions are instantly voiced and repeated and used. Stacked and compacted. Compressed into new foundations for more opinions. We only write or speak to be heard and adored. I must teach my brain to speak and think into a void. For nothing other than the joy of flexed fingered and new neuro-pathways explored.
Now, if only I had something to say.
I’m empty. I reach this point every day. The cliché bucket is empty. Dry. I just told my youngest that tonight I’m not her mother. Her mother will be back tomorrow. She said. “When my big mama gets back I will be so happy.” So.
At least I’m big.