Pain Makes Me Not Me

(My Brief, Subcutaneous Dramatics — reposted from Facebook)

Pain has its special place in me. For one thing, it’s always there. My pleasure dreams are the only exception. Even there…once in a while…pain sneaks in, slithering like a Biblical snake.

Pain makes me numb. But I’m not numb all the time. Periodically, I’m as excited as a drug addict. Or, inspired as a kirtan dancer in a trance. And then, it’s all downhill from there.

(Now, this would be a perfect place for an expletive…but I’m too phony to show my arousal…especially in front of you, my carefully, industriously-sought-out select group of friends. Pretending modesty too long the phony-feudal Indian way, I’ve become ridiculously, like, ridiculous.)

Pain makes me not me. That is, it transforms me into something else: it drives me to do things I normally don’t do: good, potentially great, bad, ugly, or gutterly slimy. And I know God has not given me the kind of power that would make the blue Buddha lotus bloom out of muck. Heck, having been through a likely two-thirds of my life, I know Van Gogh, Oscar Wilde, Balzac, Nazrul Islam or Jibanananda Das did not reincarnate in this morose five-foot-five. It’s a majorly mundane mortality prepping to strike the final “one, two, three…done” strike, before it all ends. Sounds depressing? Great. It means I done it well.

In the opening sequence of this dramatics (see the following blog) — brief but purposefully-hopefully intense wordorgasmilistics, I brought up the ever-going duel between the divine and the devil in me. I’m sad to report back: it’s for real. I’m even sadder to do a follow-up: the devil is winning out. I tend to think that in spite of being the unblossomed blue lotus me shaking-struggling out of the muck, with help from my dreaming-sacrificing parents, indulgent-caring siblings, admiring-adoring lifelong friends and an ever-forgiving couple of co-habitants, I turned out to be someone who dared an inner spirituality with an almost miraculous awakening half-way through life that spirituality-driven social reformers, politicians and human rights soldiers demanded some dedicated time from me to justify my otherwise meaningless existence. Yet, the mentor never came to hold my hand and show me the way. Without the guru and guiding light, the once-quality building blocks never really built. They slowly perforated, crumbled, and fell apart.

Meanwhile, goose-chasing, time passed. Sky turned blue to scarlet to dark evening. It stopped moving. Finally, the meaninglessness, the void, the stupor took over. The lotus defoliated.

Now, that’s a long, perplexing message packed with a few decades of raw, pressure-cooker emotion.

My time has always been short, and it’s going to be even shorter. I know it. I feel it. Not that your time is going to grow either. Yet, is there any space for sharing? Not sure. I like to talk, and I like to talk to people I think would listen, at least for a few minutes before I bore them to death. Five minutes is up now.

(Actually, I don’t like expletives at all. I think they’re ugly. That’s where I do not belong. Will never do.)

Don’t worry. I know you don’t. Just in case you do, don’t.

Sincerely Writing,

Partha

___

(Originally written on 12th January, 2011. Revised today. Never know: could revise soon again.)

6 thoughts on “Pain Makes Me Not Me

  1. At the risk of carrying the metaphor too far, the flower is not the only part of the lotus that has value. True, it has beauty. But the lotus stalk and seeds provide nourishment to humans and presumably to birds and animals. And the flower needs to defoliate to produce the seeds. So your pain that has gone into your defoliated lotus might yet provide nourishment in its stalk and seeds, either for yourself or for others, or both. Birds that eat seeds drop them elsewhere. So your lotus seeds, painfully produced, are no doubt springing up elsewhere, even if you don’t know where.
    And even if those you mention didn’t reincarnate in your ‘morose five-foot-five’, maybe Tagore did? Just a thought…

    1. That’s a thought, indeed. Never thought of it that way. Thanks. The real challenge for me is to strike a chord with friends without getting on their nerves. That’s where I need help.

  2. The deeper that sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven? ~ Kahlil Gibran.

    If you suffer, thank the Almighty for it – it means, you are alive… for, happiness brings complacency and consequent inertia; pain / adversity brings consciousness and consequent action.

    You say, “I turned out to be someone who dared an inner spirituality with an almost miraculous awakening half-way through life…..” Well, trials and tests help locate us; they help in gauging where you stand spiritually and to determine the real ‘you’….

    Certain pain is self inflicted…we rue over life’s unfairness — well, life’s unfairness is irrevocable, isn’t it? Had once read Stevie Wonder’s quip: “The two big advantages I had at birth were to have been born wise and to have been born in poverty.” Work on them, he did!

    Pain, so long as it is real, is a boon, for, though it may have robbed us of material gains, it has made us so much the richer in experience…however, to conclude the comment on a note of humor, let me quote Mark Twain: “There has been much tragedy in my life; at least half of it actually happened.”

    This is ‘pain’, the way I see it…just a few stray thoughts, actually…

  3. The deeper that sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven? ~ Kahlil Gibran.

    If you suffer, thank the Almighty for it – it means, you are alive… for, happiness brings complacency and consequent inertia; pain / adversity brings consciousness and consequent action.

    You say, “I turned out to be someone who dared an inner spirituality with an almost miraculous awakening half-way through life…..” Well, trials and tests help locate us; they help in gauging where you stand spiritually and to determine the real ‘you’….

    Certain pain is self inflicted…we rue over life’s unfairness — well, life’s unfairness is irrevocable, isn’t it? Had once read Stevie Wonder’s quip: “The two big advantages I had at birth were to have been born wise and to have been born in poverty.” Work on them, he did!

    Pain, so long as it is real, is a boon, for, though it may have robbed us of material gains, it has made us so much the richer in experience…however, to end with what Mark Twain had to say on the subject, “There has been much tragedy in my life; at least half of it actually happened.”

    This is ‘pain’, the way I see it…just a few stray thoughts, actually…

    1. I don’t want to just formally thank you my friend. You’re God’s gift. All my friends are God’s gift to me. And I don’t even know what God really is. But something good is happening in my life. Is that God?

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