Tag Archives: pain

The Whole Everything

There is no plan of study,
no readiness assessment,
no work at tilling fertile soil
in preparation for it;
enlightenment just happens,
like a sudden strike of lightning.
There’s no way to see it coming,
nor a warning bell that sounds.

There is no path toward it,
no life of worthy action,
no certain way of being
more conducive to its coming;
enlightenment is sudden,
almost random, never plotted.
There’s no one way or another
that it finds you in the end.

It’s not warm and fuzzy lighting,
nor in any way a comfort.
No one’s happy struck by lightning,
all at once, you’re caught on fire.
When enlightenment arrives,
your life is totally disrupted;
once it happens (for an instant)
your whole everything is changed.

22 AUG 2017

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Against the Cynic: a double refrain ballade

The cynic’s eye sees wreck, despair,
the order torn asunder;
and finds delight in citing where
the world has lost its wonder,

his focus on the thunder
in soft and gentle rain,
and how each stupid blunder
makes a life of loss and pain.

“There is no good found anywhere,
no qualities of number,
and further, I find no one cares
the world has lost its wonder.”

Thus the cynic speaks with thunder
his apocalypse refrain,
“‘Tis the ignorance of slumber
makes a life of loss and pain.”

Now, it can be said, to be fair,
that life is mostly umber,
and if to a dream compared,
the world has lost its wonder.

For those who think of plunder,
seeking only their own gain
the illusion they toil under
makes a life of loss and pain.

Perhaps it is no small blunder
the world has lost its wonder
Looking constant down the drain
makes a life of loss and pain.

04 APR 2004

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Immobilization

Sunday, about two in the afternoon, I was walking out of the bedroom after assisting Star with some of the Yule dinner preparations, and I was struck with a strange pain from the middle of my lower back to just above my knees. It was as if my spine and hips had been put in traction – I was unable to bend, turn at the waist, or stand completely upright. I was in severe pain whenever I tried to sit in a chair (and even moreso in the fifteen minutes it took me to get OUT of a chair. I convinced Star that I didn’t need to go to the hospital, and told her to go on and do the shopping/visiting/present deliveries she needed to do. While she was gone, I proceeded to cook the Yule feast, interrupted by watching TV and being in and out of pain. As the evening progressed, the immobilization got progressively worse – I was having to walk up and down the porch steps sideways, one hand on the wall, and finally I decided to lay down. After the first attempt to get out of bed later that took me twenty minutes, things got progressively worse. Still, I assumed that the situation would improve if I just relaxed, took some aspirin and slept. To no avail. So yesterday we went to the emergency room, me still in pain, and after waiting 4-1/2 hours there were told it was a muscle spasm. They gave me a pain-killer shot and prescriptions for painkillers and muscle relaxers. Things have definitely improved – where the pain was about the size of two basketballs it is now about the size of a softball after the meds kick in.

If I lay still, and try not to breathe deep,
let go of any thought of jig dancing
and do not dwell on bending at the waist,
the situation is not all that bad.

But a lingering fear plays fast and loose
with my calmness, jacks up my blood pressure
and tends to greatly exacerbate things:
like a recurring dream of Osiris,

laid stiff and motionless in his coffin,
I see myself immobile, able to speak
only with the subtle shift of my eyes.

And that limited vocabulary
cannot express the soft Music I hear
in each frozen moment of longing dance.

24 DEC 2002

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