Throbbing, pounding din of pain, ache so intense it seems to radiate from my head in an unholy halo of suffering. It started innocently enough, just an annoyance of a headache, nothing more- until the depth and intensity built upon itself the edifice of affliction known to me as "migraine". A true, full-blown migraine headache is a trippy experience (not that I'd be able to compare, of course) in pain, a place where loud noises explode before my eyes in visual fireworks, my stomach churns with nausea and any sudden movement I make can just about do me in entirely. Movement leaves me reeling. Normal headache medications are barely effective, if at all- today I never noticed the least difference after taking some. It was homeopathic silicea, and lying still in a warm bed with a cold washcloth over my eyes, that finally tamed the beast. (Plus some candied ginger for the nausea.) It took a couple hours of being very still (thank goodness for Babyman's nap time), but by dinnertime I was up and functional once again.
The night is only sweeter now for all the torment of the afternoon. After the pain, I am so grateful for the peace of this evening. My quiet music mingles with the chirrup and peep of the frogs and night insects, cool air drifts through my kitchen window, little else but the clack of my keyboard meets my ears. The boys sleep deeply, sprawled in little boy abandon across the rumpled covers of my bed. I am not bothered by what mess I see around me- I will tidy some of it, and the rest will patiently wait for tomorrow. Now is taken, now is full, now is a rich study in senses, a meditation, a time for awareness and wonder and gratitude.
Why do we need contrast to bring out the highlights? What is it about our human awareness that so consistently forgets our blessings, until suffering carves our experience into high relief? Is this then the goal of an enlightened existence: to live in a place of meditative, golden appreciation, to be able to bask in the glow of beauty and gratitude without needing darkness to make them apparent? Or does that smack of hubris, to imagine such a thing could be possible? For without dark, there is no light. They are so intertwined, so interdependent, that one shall never exist without the other. The trick then, is to find the beauty in both. We do not find enlightenment through seeking light. It is beauty we must see. Pause now, quiet your mind for just a moment, and find beauty. It is there. Relish it. Appreciate it. Be grateful for it. It is a blessing. Practice this often. You needn't journey for enlightenment. It is all around you.
There is no "seek". Only "see".
3 days ago