Inside the Kaleidoscope of Fibro & Creativity: Pain
The Kaleidoscope is sometimes held up to the sunlight, shifted and turned, filling the eye with ever-changing beauty and wonder. Sometimes it is held in the dark, after night-time falls, filled with jagged, cold pieces of stone, a hollow tube barely grasped by exhausted hands. Aching, numb or burning.
Today, my Fibro is flaring. I have slept and slept, only to awaken each time to pain, to the feeling of frustration of not accomplishing things, the frustration of plans changed, awakened each time to the feeling of a fork being run through my shoulder blades . . . or any number of other brutal truths, then drifting again into nightmare sleep — my mind cannot rest. Still, I hold onto my belief that pain can be a form of shadow muse.
Kristen McLaren • Holy Scoliosis • PainExhibit.org
Before Fibro, I would not have reached out to someone just to say, “Please pray for me.” I wouldn’t have admitted to a friend that I was hurting, either because I felt the need to appear stronger or because I was afraid of being hurt, again. I still struggle with wondering if it’s safe to expose my heart, my heart that was so eager and wide open as a child and now questions each foray into openness as though stepping on creaking beams in an old house. Small test. Careful step.
Sometimes the things we think we want are rabid foxes in disguise.
Sometimes the things we think we don’t want are really the oasis at the end of a parched journey.
I have not yet fully decided whether pain is something I want or don’t want, but either way, it has become a consistent presence in my story, and I will need to determine where it fits and how I hold it when I feel its touch as a feather or as an anvil.
Bound — A Trouble by Emily Dickinson
Bound — a trouble —
And lives can bear it!
Limit — how deep a bleeding go!
So — many — drops — of vital scarlet —
Deal with the soul
As with Algebra!
Tell it the Ages — to a cypher —
And it will ache — contented — on —
Sing — at its pain — as any Workman —
Notching the fall of the Even Sun!