Write It Out: Instruction Video
“Eve’s condition was elusive and unpredictable. One day she would suffer a headache of crushing magnitude. Another day, debilitating nausea. A third would open with dizziness and end with a dark and angry mood. And these days were never linked together consecutively. Between them would be days or even weeks of relief, life as usual. and then Denny would get a call at work, and he would run to Eve’s assistance, drive her home from her job, impose on a friend to follow in her car, and spend the rest of the day watching helplessly.
The intense and arbitrary nature of Eve’s affliction was far beyond Denny’s grasp. The wailings, the dramatic screaming fits, the falling on the floor in fits of anguish. These are things that only dogs and women understand because we tap into the pain directly, we connect to pain directly from its source, and so it is at once brilliant and brutal and clear, like white-hot metal spraying out of a fire house, we can appreciate the aesthetic while taking the worst of it straight in the face. Men, on the other hand, are all filters and deflectors and timed release. For men, it’s like athlete’s foot: spray the special spray on it, they say, and it goes away. They have no idea that the manifestation of their affliction – the fungus between their hairy toes – is merely a symptom, an indication of a systemic problem. A candida bloom in their bowels, for instance, or some other upset to their system. Suppressing the symptom does nothing but force the true problem to express itself on a deeper level at some other time. Go see a doctor, he said to her. Get some medication. And she howled to the moon in reply. He never understood, as I did, what she meant when she said that medication would only mask the pain, not make it go away, and what’s the point of that. He never understood when she said that if she went to a doctor, the doctor would only invent a disease that would explain why he couldn’t help her. And there was so much time between episodes. There was so much hope.”
Sometimes I want things to be a certain way when things aren’t that way at all. I resist the way things are. I push against them, try to shape them into something they’re not.
While I’m doing that, it feels like things are against me – but in reality, it’s me that is pushing, trying to change the way things are and make them be the way I want them to be. I’m the one who is fighting against what is.
Sometimes, it can take a while for me to see what is really happening. But when I do, having the courage and the grace to take a step back and see things as they really are, and then to accept the way they are, is the greatest thing. It feels freeing, it’s like throwing down a pack I’ve been carrying and feeling the weight lift from my shoulders.
Taking away that judgement of something being right or wrong, good or bad, and instead just seeing it as it is – that’s a superpower. Resisting the impulse to see things in black or white and instead appreciating the nuances of life – there’s grace in that.
Thoughts? Feel free to share them here.