“Oh hey, you blew my mind today. When you told me that pain isn’t just to tell us that something’s wrong.” I said this to Ming, as he was driving us home yesterday. We’d just housesit for a friend then dropped off some mail at the post office.
“Yeah?” Ming asked.
“Yeah, I always thought that pain was to tell us something’s wrong, so we could try to fix some way our body was suffering. But it seemed like you were saying–sometimes pain just is.”
“Yeah, it doesn’t always have a reason, like a helpful reason.”
“And a lot of people in this world have periods. And many of us, it hurts. Then giving birth hurts. Those are totally normal things, that hurt.”
I was feeling stupid, that I was 44 years old before I realized that pain doesn’t have to mean something’s wrong. But the feeling of being stupid was swirled with a grateful feeling, that now I know. And swirled with awe, that I can re-see pain.
What about emotional pain. Yeah, a lot of people think sadness or anxiety are problems we need to get rid of as soon as possible. I don’t feel that way at all–they are welcome as long as they cycle through, like any other feelings.
My mom seemed like–she wished she had a ray gun, so if she saw sadness, she could shoot it immediately, zap it away, as a horrible abomination. If I said I was sad, she would offer a suggestion immediately, of how not to be sad. It drove me nuts. She was really afraid of those feelings.
But I know she was really afraid of me killing myself. That was one of the biggest fears affecting our relationship. She was afraid of a few people killing themselves. Mmm hmm.
I’m working on a zine about emotional skills. It means a lot to me. I wanted to make a meme about how to strengthen love skills–then I realized I have way, way more to say than a meme amount.
This proposed cover is a good example of my art philosophy. When in doubt, draw strawberries all over it. Hahahahaha!
Also, a bird had the audacity to fly through my cloud pic yesterday morning. Probably you can imagine how I laughed and laughed, while I followed it with my eyes to see where it was headed.
I like the non-bird version better, honestly. Hmm, I guess that’s rude, to the bird.
the whole point
Oh wait, I forgot to tell you the whole point of my story. I said to Ming, “Is this what you talk about in nursing school? Did you sit around talking about the nature and meaning of pain?”
“Yeah, kind of,” he said.
“Wow!” I said. I thought they were just memorizing the names of muscles and learning how tendons articulate or something. “You shoulda got a Master’s degree. You should have a Master’s degree in pain!”
We were laughing. “Yeah!” he said.
“I want a Master’s degree in pain! That sounds like a great title for an album of a metal band.”
Ming agreed. I said, “Maybe we should form a metal band, just to make that album.” Here’s the cover.
Probably I could get a Master’s degree in pain easily–I’ve already done all the coursework. I just need to write my thesis and pay a fuckton of money for the fancy wallpaper!