Saturday, October 3, 2009

Alchemical Pain

A friend recently commented about one of my posts that he wished he could take away my pain. I thought his comment was sweet and appreciated his caring but later thought that I can't wish away or even give away that pain. It has been given to me as a gift, a gift, that had I a choice, I might have refused. But here it is, part of my life ... the fire that is cooking the alchemy within me. Somewhere in this crucible of loss and pain, lead is being turned into gold, or at least I hope it's gold. A poet friend says that each moment has value ... to wish away any moment is to devalue part of our experience of this lifetime.

So, I hold this pain gently in the palm of my hand, knowing that it is magic, that it is creating a miracle I cannot yet see, the miracle of my future. And, I remind myself to be patient with it and with my own impatient, just-tell-me-how-the-story-ends tendencies. The cooking is not done; the lead still untransmuted. I have to wait. The only thing I can do is look for joy to add to the thickening brew. For joy is the catalyst that changes everything.

Yellow wall.
Weathered, scraped, distressed by time,
Rusted, blistered, flaking,
Blues, browns, reds emerging
from the perfect past
Into a color-filled, textured present,
Headed for an unknowable future.


  1. Pain... of loss, of hopes shattered, of the body done in and wanting release, of watching another in pain, of being in pain. . . it's a topic visited over and over by my online support group. Recently, Dana Jennings at the New York Times wrote a wonderful column about pain (he is a cancer survivor), titled "Pain Beyond Words, and an Impulse to Endure". It's well worth reading.

  2. Thanks, Maureen ... here's the link to Dana's column This is pain of a different sort, of course ... truly pain beyond words.