A few days ago, Saturday early evening to be precise, push came to shove: I nearly fell onto the sidewalk from that same ‘ole crazy-making pain originating in my sacrum, radiating through my whole body. I’d been on my feet for over six hours. I knew my body would pay for it, but just how much was unclear. Until the moment arrived where I couldn’t see or think about anything other than where I might find a place to lie down. I didn’t see a single patch of grass or earth that beckoned to me, but my knees were giving out…
I was a pilgrim in pain, holding back welled-up tears, in dire need of an immediate and soft landing. I found one (good enough), flopped right down, rested, ate and headed back to my place.
I couldn’t make sense of the setback: Why had my body failed me? Why was that anchor still so heavily weighing me down? How could the damage of two years ago resurface and feel so raw and fresh at such moments? How could a bit of overdoing still bring me, shaking, to my knees?Curled up in bed moments after entering my room, tense and reeling, I recalled what Linda had told me once (perhaps during our healing session); she kneeled next to me and said, it’s a lonely place being in pain, isn’t it? Which it invariably is; loneliness that seeps into, around and through my bones, my muscles, nerves and blood lines. Somehow taking a detour also through my heart.
It’s far from extinct this species of loneliness, that which is borne out of the inexorably solitary experience of pain. It’s the kind of loneliness that only those in chronic pain have the misfortune of befriending. A loneliness that sets me apart and away from people (at the most inopportune times) in a subtle, mostly invisible manner.
Once I retrieved my breath in bed, I sailed into a visualization: I set my Saturday evening encounter with pain on the water, sent it off into the blue ocean, let it roll with the waves, drift off past the horizon – and fell straight asleep.