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from The Dog Stars

There is a pain you can’t think your way out of.  You can’t talk it away.  You can walk.  When you walk you propel it forward.  Then it sits with you, the Pain puts its arm over your shoulders.  It is your closest friend.  Steadfast.  And at night you can’t bear to hear your own breath unaccompanied by another and underneath the big stillness like a score is the roaring of the cataract of everything being and being torn away.  Then.  The Pain lying beside your side, close.  Does not bother you with the sound even of breathing.

Peter Heller, The Dog Stars

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observations on life

I am feeble and sore broken

How do you say succinctly that you are in such excruciating pain that it is making you desperate and panicked?  That you can’t stand it for one more minute?  The thought of looking beyond the next moment requires you to be quick.  Quick.  “I am afraid,” Martha Manning said, “afraid of managing the desolation of each second.”  “All these potions make me big for a while, but the sweetness of their promises melts like kisses somewhere inside myself.  And I become small again.  So small that I can’t find myself.  All I can find is my fear.  The fear that my daylight is truly past and I am destined only for night.”

I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.  My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.  My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.    Psalm 38

I have written these words here before.  I have felt like this many times, through many years.  It will never be gone.  I have no hope that it won’t happen again; I know it will.

I’ve posted this here before as well.  But it keeps coming back.

A View to Eternity

A familiar tender spot, the old wound
Nags me. A pain unresponsive to any
Anodyne except that which is also so likely to
Aggravate it to a more unbearable
Degree. It feels so much better at first
And then, inevitably, the elixir turns to
Poison, only deepening the ache.

I know this, and yet I cannot stop.
Each time, I am hopeful and expectant,
Thinking, oh, a chance–this could be it.
This could be the cure that makes the pain
Abate forever– but it doesn’t take long.
Presently, before I even have the full effect,
The new opium deserts my veins, satisfying only itself.

In the dream, the disfigured woman trudges up the old stone steps,
Discharge from her oozing sores leaving slick puddles
Into which I unavoidably step as I follow her up the stairs.
I see we are approaching an overlook–a window–
In the ancient wall the eroding stairs ascend.
The worn down woman doesn’t hesitate, but simply
Steps off the ledge of the window.

“It will never be any different” she says, as
She uses the last of her strength to mount
The ledge of the overlook
And without stopping even to admire
The view, she simply steps off
Into oblivion, finally, surely, doubtlessly
Finding the elusive cure.

It was a real dream, dreamed at a time like this, when the pain was unbearable, and I knew it would never be cured.

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observations on life

Not just for physical pain anymore

Not willing to tell you how I know this is true, suffice it to say, I’ve tried it.  And it works for emotional pain just as well as it does for physical pain.  Why would we not want people who are depressed to to be LESS depressed?

“Only one or two pills a week to get me through the very worst of the socializing and only when I really needed them.  In lieu of the pharms, I’d been drinking and that really wasn’t working for me; with opiates, I was relaxed, I was tolerant, I was up for anything; I could stand pleasantly for hours in unbearable situations listening to any old tiresome or ridiculous bullshit without wanted to go outside and shoot myself in the head.”

The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt

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observations on life

A view to eternity

A View to Eternity

A familiar tender spot, the old wound
Nags me. A pain unresponsive to any
Anodyne except that which is also so likely to
Aggravate it to a more unbearable
Degree. It feels so much better at first
And then, inevitably, the elixir turns to
Poison, only deepening the ache.

I know this, and yet I cannot stop.
Each time, I am hopeful and expectant,
Thinking, oh, a chance–this could be it.
This could be the cure that makes the pain
Abate forever– but it doesn’t take long.
Presently, before I even have the full effect,
The new opium deserts my veins, satisfying only itself.

In the dream, the disfigured woman trudges up the old stone steps,
Discharge from her oozing sores leaving slick puddles
Into which I unavoidably step as I follow her up the stairs.
I see we are approaching an overlook–a window–
In the ancient wall the eroding stairs ascend.
The worn down woman doesn’t hesitate, but simply
Steps off the ledge of the window.

“It will never be any different” she says, as
She uses the last of her strength to mount
The ledge of the overlook
And without stopping even to admire
The view, she simply steps off
Into oblivion, finally, surely, doubtlessly
Finding the elusive cure.

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