What is the absence of pain?

A few days ago, I realized that this was what I was experiencing. And I didn’t quite know what to call it. It felt free and loose , like clean running water. There was no throbbing in my shoulder, no catch in my neck, no pain down the back of my leg, no tenderness in my lower back. In their place was a desire to move and a belief in my body that I had lost contact with.

During this ordeal someone told me that I hurt because I was angry. As though a minor character in a Shakespeare play coming out of the shadows of his hunched back or her clawed hand I’d say, “Nay, I was angry because of the pain.”

A friend who was visiting and is a few  years shy of 70 – which is incredibly hard to believe given her non-stop energy – said she feels less rickety and achey than she did in her 50s. I find this hopeful – moving onward toward health, toward a greater sense of self, into the strength that comes from an intimacy with pain.


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