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where to from here?

The last 48 hours have gone by in a blur. Yesterday I awoke to a banging sound at the front door. Fumbling with the alarm clock, turning it one way then another, trying to locate ah! there it is, a quarter past three. Early morning or afternoon, no idea. Sticking my head out the bathroom window I saw two friends standing in my front yard, carrying pillows and a massage table. Time made no sense to me. Disoriented I made my way downstairs. It dawned on me that I’d slept fo 15 hours. My body is recovering from two weeks of pain.

A fragment of a Leonard Cohen poem comes to mind: my body cleans and repairs itself / and all my work goes well. What is this “work”? What, pray, is the purpose of this illness, this pain? In many ways it calls me to wake up to yet another awareness of what matters, what I am to do with the precious days on this earth.

Show me the path where I should go, point out the right road for me to walk. Lead me: teach me. Psalm 25

source: Cohen, L. (1961). “I have not lingered in European monasteries” in The spice-box of earth. Toronto: McClelland Stewart). image: Each pointer a different destination, each in its own way the right one. But which is for me? (Photo taken during a two-week walk across Switzerland.)

3 responses »

  1. nice … and here is the photo blog of leonard cohen:

  2. Pain doesn’t have a ‘purpose’. Pain just is. Like everything else.

    • Of course “it” has no purpose. I write spontaneously and my choice of words isn’t always spot on. Thank you Maringouin for catching this.

      What I meant to say was something like: What is this pain teaching me? What can I learn about the ways in which I responded to it?

      Also, being in pain so severely brought me to my knees (actually and metaphorically), let me experience humiliy and compassion for others who suffer, cut away the trimmings of who “I” am (persona).


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