I must say that I forgot what it is to suffer. It’s been a long time. Aside from the agonies of sickness and childbirth, there have only been a handful of times I’ve really had to pass through the fiery gates. I’ve forgotten that there is no trick of the mind, no positive thoughts, no drink, no medication, no prayer or scripture that saves … there is no escape from the misery.

There is nothing we can do with suffering but to suffer it.

C.S. Lewis said,

It doesn’t really matter whether you grip the arms of the dentist’s chair or let your hands lie in your lap. The drill drills on.

It’s true. I can breathe deeply. I can will myself to relax, to allow, to surrender. But I don’t and won’t know if it would hurt any less if I were to kick and scream and fight or grip and tear and tense. Perhaps that would provide a distraction, but probably not. The drill drills on no matter what you do.

Or as Trog said to Paul,

No matter what happens at this point, it’s gonna feel like you’ve been kicked in the balls.

I’ve wished I could faint so I could escape it for awhile.

But I’m not the fainting type.

I’ve had the slight desire to lose my mind. Selfishly, there is comfort in an utter breakdown. To wake up and find myself medicated and in a rocking chair staring over a green lawn.

I’m not the breakdown type either.

There’s no choice but to go on.

Nothing feels exciting. I don’t want to start or finish anything. The last thing I care to do is to contribute or encourage or inspire.

My soul has hardened into a lump of unfeeling, cold rage and slimy hate and bitter, bitter, taste. A blind, cave fish — white, clammy flesh grown over empty eyes– slipping through the still ponds and the drip, drip, drip of time sliding over stalagmites and stalactites.

Will it ever see the sun again?

Such is suffering. It is doubt. The sun is shining, but I may never see it again. There is laughter somewhere, but will I ever be allowed to join? There is a feast laid out, but only the savory smells reach me. The food is out of reach.

There is too much time. It oppresses. It suffocates. It chokes.

I could lie down for awhile and quit searching.

Maybe, I could lie down for just awhile.But why? What’s the point? It all remains around me when I get up. I am cloistered.

The only thing to do with suffering is to suffer it.

And continue on. Another day. And another. And another.

Until a day is different. Then it is different. And I’m through. The pain recedes quickly until it is almost forgotten, only to be remembered when the time to suffer surfaces again. Like a dreaded ghost standing at the bedside. I convinced myself it was just my imagination.

It is too real to be denied.

I wish I could see the point.

It seems an injustice that the good of suffering can only be appreciated when it doesn’t hurt anymore.

Life is like an Escher painting.

If I could only capture life

And pin it to a paper,

I could wrestle with the inequality,

And solve for its domain.

But I am a part of its domain,

Someone else has me pinned to a card,

And I am still trying to capture life

And pin it to a paper.

I guess it’s the eternal in us, clashing with flesh and blood. I’m trying to wrestle with God. A creation questioning the creator.