Yesterday I had a brush with physical pain. Walking home last afternoon it was all I could do to put my right foot down without yelping, loudly. I was probably limping at the very least. The pain wore off as I walked. Gone as quickly as it had arrived.
Nothing happens without a cause, of course. The root of this pain originates from a broken tibia back in late 1999. I slipped and fell on a frozen grassy bank, I heard a faint click and the rest is history. Soon after the fall, almost exactly one month when I think of it now, my father died. Dealing with his death, using crutches, while dragging along a plaster cast, was a challenge to say the least. I remember, for instance, loosing my balance at the grave side and almost falling on top of his coffin!
Following the fall and fathers death my life circumstances were such that I was not able to rehabilitate the use of the limb properly. So now, as a consequence, there is ongoing poor use of the limb (which I’m working on by the way). This morning as I walked a strong impression of my dad came to mind. I walked on. Later I engaged in a free write exercise using pencil and paper for a change. I found myself writing to my father telling him about my rehabilitation efforts. Just simple words as a child might pen a letter. Tears tumbled out of my eyes.
What is to be understood here? What indeed! That release/letting go – what ever one wants to call the arising and passing of conditions as I’ve described – come of themselves in the ebb and flow of conditions as they arrise, and arrise. And, given half a chance, they pass of themselves. It is not, as I see it, the particular conditions that are significant – in this story – it’s the wonder right there in the midst of being still within the conditions which captures my heart. Tears just tumble – in that there is both joy and sadness together.
Several posts are lined up in the wings to be published over the next few days. The first one is from a sangha member who is a practicing expert on physical pain. One cannot but bow to the fortitude coming through this post. It is not a light read. One cannot fail to be both disturbed and inspired in equal measure.