Sometimes those that have nothing or who give everything away are the wisest people. And what they do without or give isn't always material possessions. They may make 21st century sacrifices, but they also give their time, their energy, a thoughtful gesture, a kind word, a friendly smile. Some of them don't recognise their own giving spirit because they couldn't possibly live any other way. If they went against their own nature, it would be like rubbing coarse salt into a raw, weeping wound. Some of them try, feeling they need to toughen their outer shell, but often it feels too unnatural. It doesn't sit well.
these giving spirits can be misunderstood, especially by those who
they assume are kin and think much of. Another who they see the same
light in could misinterpret their words, their actions. And when that
happens it's painful. A pain that's deep and long-lasting. A
torturous, lingering pain...
nauseous stomach, a shattered rib, a punctured lung. A grumbling
spleen, a twisted knee, a sprained ankle. Sharp, daggered shoulder
pain. A constant head drum. Drum-drum, drum-drum from dawn to dusk.
Fighting for breath and clutching their chest; every intake a rasp or
the rain comes...a drop, a splash, a gush. A showy fountain, a
spectacular waterfall, a fast-flowing river. Followed by dull, heavy
skies with a single ray of sun poking through. A slight reprieve from
the throbbing ache.
thick cotton clouds lighten and gulls once again wheel overhead with
their pitiful cry. In the trees, the wood pigeons coo, 'My baby's
sick. My baby's sick..' for even they know this sickness is not over.
It will return with a fresh pang, a new symptom when it's least
expected. A sudden sadness, a welling of eyes, airways obstructed by
muted dry sobs. Or it might be a violent burst like a blow from
behind or a ruptured appendix. A fleeting memory, a brief encounter,
a single read word, a heard five minute song causes a rainbow streak
or luminescent stars to shoot and flash. That emotional wave crashes,
tamed or volcanically active, as if the one afflicted were the shore.
The sand on which it beats with a shush or a deafening roar.
moments like that, go with it. Let the current, the out-pour take
you. That's what makes us human. We all have masks that can slip. We
all make mistakes, we trip.
it's hard when the pain dealt doesn't dissolve into nothing, return
to its original nature, or soften to that of a daylight bulb. Dimmed,
no hissing spark, no licking flame.
could someone who seemed to be on the same wavelength as me get me so
wrong, they wonder. It's puzzling to them because they're genuinely
interested in people: their backgrounds, their everyday lives, their
culture, as well as in those that appear to share that same spirit.
But assumptions, presumptions in this online world are hurtful, and
this is where the misunderstood are more likely to be hurt.
throwaway phrase, a held view, a strong opinion may be taken the
wrong way, and that's when the pain starts. Character assessed and
pulled apart. Confrontation, a refusal to engage or an abrupt
silence. Hurt flows in both directions.
drawbridge down and thieves rush in, upset beliefs and perceptions.
Steals precious jewels from the victim, a sense of who they thought
they were, and crushes them. Grounds them to a fine dust.
this loss, this pain doesn't make those misunderstood seek to be
consoled. The very opposite. Pain is a catalyst, a helpful companion,
an instrument for compassion. All they want from life is to be
understood as to understand.
Picture Credit: The Tragedy, Pablo Picasso 1903