Have I learned to suffer yet? I think that I have. I have navigated rough seas in search of peace, and I have travelled distances long enough, obstacled enough, that measurement becomes difficult. In search of, peace?
But have I learned to suffer? And what is there to gain from such an endeavor? Why would anyone want to learn to suffer? One might think that a more suffered soul is more calloused, like the palms of a weight lifter who has gripped steel on too many occassions. Or calloused like the foot of a traveller who has walked a journey too long.
So there is that benefit. But have I, myself, learned to suffer? Everyone says they know pain. Everyone’s pain is unique, so I may say that I have but I have not grieved. I have never experienced, and god forbid, a death of a loved one, or, and I never will, a miscarriage. That feeling of having the entire air sucked out of you like a fast-deflating balloon. Where the air goes, who knows, it just becomes a part of the rest. All that’s left is the flexible plastic that once floated and bounced and danced around, and if you didn’t watch it carefully would threaten to float away in search of… who knows…
But even though I haven’t felt the great loss, or the terrible panic, could I still say, with confidence, that I have learned to suffer? When sometimes I feel more that I have forgotten. I lie comfortably on my bed, in an air conditioned room, and my thoughts are peaceful. I write sonnets and sing them to myself, and I laugh at my own jokes. I forget about the world for long periods of time, the world of pain and suffering, the hunger, the problems, the massive death counts, and I live like life is truly worth living and the problems are far far away.
With all of this ignorance, I ask myself, have I learned to suffer? Have I ever suffered? Sure, I cried in my discomforts. I grew troubled by lies and my inability to tell truth from truth, and it has never been that simple, but that’s what I hoped for. But I truly became ignorant, a resident of my own private oasis. I felt lonely too, but I had friends to call. So I have never been truly alone. And my dreams, so vivid and alive that sleep has been like a cheap vacation. I see the hours pass by, I see the time all at once.
what is it like to suffer?
who can define it?
i’m not sure I can tell you.