I limp out of the bed, vainly attempting to straighten my body. My left hand holds the crevice where the waist meets the hip and holds it in tender care. And, slowly I move, towards a destination. I feel the throbbing pain – stable and intentional – sitting on the horizon; spread as the sea would appear to the human eye. It moves in waves, alighting now and subsiding soon after. But, it stays as the courage to wish for a better life stays only if as a tiny spark.
As I read, chapter by chapter, the Virginia Woolf novel – Jacob’s Room – I reach the word – sciatica. Now, I have heard this word, a beautiful movement of the human breath on the tongue – a tai chi – but I have never found the resourcefulness to find what this condition is about. So, I touch the word in a long-press to reveal the hidden meaning. As the meaning is revealed, a sense of wonder dawns on me to such a discovery as would affect every discoverer and adventurer in their journeys.
The pain that I carry – which visits me occasionally – I learn, is sciatica.
The condition revealed in this manner receives no objection. And, why would it do? It serves not the master, it only highlights what is happening. Having now found a label for the condition, I try to understand what its causes are, what needs to be done, where would treatment be available. Nothing particularly is promising. Exercises, treatments, surgeries, even. All bring an additional pain, a fear directed at the human will.
I must have wanted something to hold on to. Something that could allow me to become a brief recipient of affection, understanding, and care. That is usually my complain against the unjust nature of the universe – that I am not loved by the ones around me, that I am not in possession of the careless pride that comes with the knowledge that care and affection are birth rights. So, the pain sits and I sit with it, assuming that if not anything more, something that brings such pain could let me receive some attention – the deepest desire of the human condition.
Two days later as the pain subsides, going back to become native, I feel younger again. The full movement of the back, the hip and the leg has restored a joyous state. But, attention has been taken away. Someone asks every six hours or so, about how I feel but there is not that interest that would have been otherwise.
So I write – what relation does feeling pain have with receiving attention? They will always be hand-in-hand, producing codes that could only be deciphered when the human mind is resting. Can the desire for attention delve into more pain? Or could the human condition, the seeker of suffering, the creator of suffering, cease if one could see? Or whether it is all truly, in the mind?
Maybe, it doesn’t matter. Because for the moments when physical pain soothes the human heart, does the mind work at all? But, maybe it matters, because if the human heart doesn’t heal, what else could it create but more suffering? What does one learn when such pain comes?
That you will receive pain, it is of human nature. But, pain is a message, a codex that carries messages to those who hear. And, so listen, my dear, that of which the pain speaks.