Fragments: never the end of the story

Posted by on 04.12.10 | 5 Comments
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Pain hardly ever looks like anything.

Sometimes everything looks like it.

Easter morning, with my brother at his church – full
cantata; orchestra; rock band; a thousand clean people; clean in dress, style,
and I would actually even bet – a good many of them cleanish in their desires,
mostly. Sometimes, at the least. More than Once, definitely.

My mind wandered, during the cantata singing, to the body -
to the human body – because I am ready for mine to be strengthened;
because I spent the Friday before in a Taize prayer service
staring at a very very large beautiful marble crucifix.
A marble white Christ with rippled muscles, looking to float
in front of the cross, in full strength and whole body.

I can’t imagine what a crucified Christ might truly look like
- horrific.

I got to wanting to see someone in the crowd with a tattoo;
with brightly dyed hair; with too many piercings; I craved putting a tattoo on
my own body.
I drew it out in my mind, others around me singing and
listening, me imagining injecting ink into my skin.

I suddenly wanted more than anything to see some sort of
visual evidence not of our cleanness, but of our pain.

Writing this out makes me feel that perhaps these were
twisted thoughts for a day of celebration of resurrection. But I’ve never more
wanted to believe that there will be one for all of us. And I wanted us to have our pain worn on our sleeves
offering it to each other. A piercing and rending and marking in ink tracing
the lines that guide us – these lines, if they be clean, then they don’t tell
the whole story.

I wanted some surrender of ourselves, some way that we can
acknowledge this pain in each other. Some touching and honoring of scars. Heck,
let’s be honest – of wounds. We were there to celebrate victory over death;
victory over this world as we know it – and I wanted us to turn into symbols
for each other – so loved, so in pain, so potentially in tune with each other.

**

Tonight – perhaps because of last night’s yard work stirring
up the old injuries – I have a terrible headache; reaching up from my neck,
across the base of my skull, full around in to my eye sockets.

I tried to relax into it after work by laying down for a bit
- when I got up, it was a bit better, but I was also a bit naseuous, and very,
very irritable.

And about an hour into this, while I was fixing dinner – it
struck me (and it ALWAYS comes as a “struck me”) that I, Kathryn Ruth Schuth,
was fully capable and prepared to Use An Aspirin. *sigh*

It takes me Hours of pain most times to remember that the
health and scientific communities for millennium have figured out how to help
with such matters as aches. It’s not a cure, but a help. I call it “Ibuprofin”
and it sits in my medicine cabinet. It’s that hard.

How is it that I’m both fully realizing and noticing my pain
and simultaneously refusing all notions of making the situation better? What am
I waiting on?

I’ve been in quite a bit of pain over the last three years;
some chronic-ish issues with my neck – which explains some of it: I’m just more
used to it now. I can’t always fix it.

My boss today disappeared from the office for a few hours
this morning. His wife told me that he was headed to physical therapy for his
back.

Later, our entire team got together for an impromptu
planning meeting, and after we spent our time chatting about the next few days,
he explained why he had been walking around in a sweatsuit that morning. I
asked if he’s been in pain – and he said, yes – that he has a pinched nerve or
somewhat, and it shoots pain down his leg, such that he can only walk about 100
feet without it starting to feel like he won’t ever want to walk back again.
“And that’s no way to live” he said.

He there in his throbbing pain, my throbbing head, heaven’s
knows what other ailments we could have all come up with, just the four of us. There, sitting together in a casual meeting -
all of us business-as-usual.

**

Pain, really – IS usual. And unusual. A sign of a problem;
and a sign of change. Warning signals; turn signals.

Pain hardly ever looks like anything.

Sometimes everything looks it

**

I watched a death metal video that made me regret ever
thinking that we should wear our pain on our sleeve. It made me want to scrub
everything I came in to contact with. Including, very much, myself.

Pain is, and we are in it, but we simply cannot be of
it. I am ultimately unsatisfied with the
conclusion of pain.

**

Tramping through the woods this morning, I’m not letting
these thoughts go. Somehow it seems that tragedy has built up in the world, and
shifts like the earth is shifting – violently, always awkwardly, and with
devastation.

But, I consider – pain is never the end of the story. It just isn’t.
It never will be. We can’t speak much to what is death and after death -
but somehow, I doubt that pain is involved.

I suppose that this is where a resurrection might come in.

Winter is never the end of the story. Neither is spring.
What do words like “beginning” and “end” mean when you are talking about a
circle?

**

Maybe we don’t get to know.
We were born with a blind side after all.

**

Dinner with a friend, we discuss how that people, including
ourselves, have really gotten out of practice being neighborly.

A call comes and someone has been killed in a car accident.
Here. And then not here.

When I get home, as I get out of the car, there is the son
of a neighbor of mine with cancer, and I ask after her. A third neighbor, walking crazily from a
block away with her dog, whose head is wrapped in a giant cone, comes up
wanting to know the same. We sit there and talk, and scratch the coned dog’s
ears. Brief and sweet.

**

Washing dishes tonight, I am back here. Grieving. Wanting to
save the world from sorrow as if it’s my job to do.

And as I put the last bowl down. I know. Again.

That it is not my job or anyone’s job to save the world. Not
from its sorrow or from anything else.
It’s only my job and anyone’s job to save each other from the world. My
job is just the person in front of me. “Do the thing in front of you,” Mother
Theresa would say. The thing that I can
see. And it is my job to see the thing in front of me.

**

I will continue to keep watch.

**

timeline

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