September 16, 2014
We’d like to communicate through our blog what it’s like for us to be disabled, in pain, and yet still try our best to be productive, compassionate, and creative members of society. I don’t think we’ve addressed this head on yet, so today seems like a perfect day to begin.
August 9, 2014 [original date]
Both of us are in poor physical and cognitive states today. [It feels so heavy and difficult to write and reread that. It makes us not want to feel this way all the more, hoping that it won’t always be this way. Putting it out here, writing it down confirms how much it sucks.]
This is what makes it hard to concentrate, stay focused, access creativity, while dizziness and double vision make it hard to walk a straight line or see what it is we’re attempting to do, even if we’ve resigned ourselves to only doing a little bit today.
We’re sensitive to the fact that each day not used to write the novel and yes, the blog too, feels like wasted time. Intellectually, we can tell ourselves that this isn’t true. That somewhere underneath all the fog is a land where ideas are being served up every hour on the hour, percolating with other things we’ve already written down, and that it will later pop out in the perfect voice and word choice, furthering our plot and ideas forward.
Maybe this is the way the process goes. We often think it does… except on these kinds of days. Maybe it happens anyway and the suffering part is a howling wind blowing the ripples on top of the lake, leaving the bottom calm and undisturbed. We both like that idea, and maybe we’ll have the chance to test this little theory tomorrow or the day after – see what the internal artist has to show for itself.
So, what do we have to offer you today, gentle reader, as I struggle to write to the end of this post? I think it’s the difference between pain and suffering, a concept I read in the upcoming book title. I contemplate its intention along with my meditation practice: Meeting the Dragon: Ending Our Suffering By Entering Our Pain by Robert Augustus Masters.
One of the most important concepts, I feel, is that there is always a cognitive and emotional component to any physical pain… and most of the time vice versa. We can find ways to hold a conversation with ourselves to find out what magnetizes to the original, physical pain message that builds it into a mountain of suffering.
It is this connection and this conversation’s insights that can be gleaned from a number of actions: meditation as I mentioned, rapid writing to and from one’s self, role-playing with a trusted, safe, non-judgmental partner, or via the use of a tape or video recorder.
You may be surprised at what answers swim to the surface of your lake. Knowing is the beginning of change. And change can actually make the pain less. If it doesn’t go away, which I am most definitely not promising, at least there’s the possibility it can become manageable more of the time. There’s a new perspective.
It takes time and dedication, discipline and a sense of worthiness, but works regardless of how many times it becomes two steps forward and one step back. It has moved me forward, allowing the creative spirit some room to come forth.
For additional, hopefully helpful further reading on related topics: For the Time Being by Norman Fischer
I am definitely wishing those of you who are hurting the best of success in facing your pain. For those who’ve never had a day of pain in your life, I am delighted for you, and I hope it continues all of your days. However, there is a lot to be learned from this process, so should pain seek you out one day when you least expect it, hopefully you can remember that others have trod the path before you and unfurled themselves from the fetal position it often causes.
There are other aspects to this, such as communicating with your writing partner when you both feel ill and so forth, but that’s for another day.
Best wishes! [Leslie]