#BIGRead14: Pain (Read by @theresagrant3)



Today the subject of my prayer
is easy to find. I don’t need to look
or search; it finds me.

More than that, it seeks me and traps
me; holds me where I don’t like
to be held. It’s not the only thing
on my mind,
but it’s so tenacious,
far more tenacious than me,
I fear.

Yes, I fear.

The pain I experience
awakens before me, before the dawn,
and summons my
slumbering mind to a grudging alertness.

This is what I hate about pain:
not the pain itself – not the hurt in it,
though that’s bad enough.
It’s the attention it demands.
the fact that I can’t forget it, can’t
clear it from my mind, can’t get beyond it,
behind it, around it. I am not even sure that
I will get through it.page115image3360page115image3520page115image3680

The pain, it seems, is in
my mind as much as in
my body: sometimes it’s
chronic, sometimes intermittent,
always gnawing. It’s not a headache,
it’s my mind, my whole mind.

Oh, how I wish it were not so!
Oh, how I hate the feel of pain!
Even now I despise myself for feeling it!
How I long to overcome it!

Yet the truth is that the
pain overcomes
me. It invades, vanquishes and
diminishes me.

And this is the worst. It’s the pain
that melts my prayer, dissipates
my spirit, undermines whatever
was solid in my soul. It’s the
pain that returns me not to
flights of faith but to the
rude reality of the physical:
the brute bluntness of the

Save me from the talons which
claw into my mind. Save me from the
searing heat of crumbling bones
and flayed flesh.

Save me from the brilliant
electric brightness, and the deep
delayed explosion:
the internal thunderstorm which
known to me alone
is all I know,
and which I am all
the more alone for knowing.

Save me: and be with all in pain
this day and this night.

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