Pain Is Gentle…

…like a smile on the face of a tiger.

The last few days have included insane laughter, baring of teeth, and loud thoughts, shouting, Bring it on, you bastards! Life and Fate and the bits of me that hurt like a hot poker in the ribs just glance at me, worry filling their non-existing eyeballs—even Life and Fate and hot pokers understand that pushing a wild witchy woman who’s about to reach the end of her tether is not safe for anyone. So, they just stare… half enthralled… half waiting to see what I will do next…

I have been keeping them (especially pain) busy by doing things with my hands. Pain has no mind for work or sarcasm. That’s the reason why when the hurt tries to burst my insides, I laugh and surround myself with jokes of questionable niceness. Yesterday, even the mad grinning was failing. So, I pulled out the big weapons: markers, pens, needle, thread, recycled paper, tea bags and coffee filters, dried flowers, refurbished frames, nail polish I’ve owned since the Dark Ages (of course they had nail polish in the Dark Ages!), my tiny silver hammer, and well… you get the idea, don’t you? I got crafty and set pain aside to starve for attention.

By the time the sun decided to sleep, I had gone all wildly crafty on 5 blackouts. I enjoyed the completed work for a while, grinning… not caring all that much that my hands were stiff and shaky. And yes, I laughed raucously after that. Like I said to a friend, who pointed out that I make a lot of jokes when my body is being a bastard, “Laughter confuses the Reaper.” Art does the same for pain—it won’t stop the hurt, but it lets pain know that it can’t take my choices.

I chose to keep one of the blackouts for myself (see below). Because looking at it makes me smile… with lots of teeth and because I’m quite greedy. The others joined a growing wee pile that plans to become an online shop… sometime before Midsummer… I’m grinning again.

I also gave myself a cute skully angel brought to sweet and creepy life by Marfi, of Incipient Wings. It was love at first grin. She looks perfect next to my blackout.

So, my Wicked Luvs, what do you do when pain hurts like a royal bastard?

Of Skulls, Wild Blessings, Pain and Ink

I got out of bed counting skulls. I always find healing in the act of counting blessings. If you know me a bit, you aren’t wondering about my use of the words skulls and blessings in the same paragraph—I love skulls, and recalling the tales of how they got to me is quite soothing.

Take the skull in the photo below, as an example. It’s a gift from my friend Lynne, mistress of the Insomniac’s Attic. She gave it to me during her last visit to New York City… in which we delighted in old books, got lost looking for an antique shop that insisted on hiding behind a delivery truck, and witnessed a rather irresponsible New Age seller tell a customer that onyx stones would give her telepathic powers.
Weeks later, the outrage I felt towards the seller’s statement (and the amusement my reaction brought to Lynne’s face) makes me laugh like a maniac. Laughter heals. The same is true of rituals and symbols. That’s the idea behind the grouping in the image: a frog from Stacy, a skull from Lynne, rosemary from Gina, and a mini-book from Emma, every piece sitting on a stone and a shell that holds its own tale. Even the black ribbon has a story, and telling myself all those tales (and laughing) pushes the aches away. Yes, it’s magic.

After saying goodbye to the frog, skull, rosemary and book, I started breakfast and made my bed. The quilt filled me with warm grins. It’s a handfasting present from my Mother-in-Law. As my not-so-perfect picture shows, the squares make an M or a W (for Magaly & William). And yes, the stitching forms lovely hearts. How cool is that, my Wicked Luvs? How could pain and exhaustion ever compete against the love put into such thought-filled gift?

Some gifts are unexpected treasures. The memories of when I first saw them always rush through me like a wave of ecstatically surprised endorphins. Yep, I’m referring to the bee kissing crabapple blossoms in the photo below. I was gifted this glimpse into Nature’s crafty magic, right after having spent a couple of hours searching for mushrooms. The search was a total fiasco… So, I was justifiably disappointed. Then I saw the bee… and the blooms… and I was delighted. Oh yes, I’m grinning like a lunatic, just thinking about it.

I’m writing this post while my heat pad does its magic on the pain that kicks my back. And “Yes! Yes!! Yes!!!” I’m smiling, as I think of gifts… of friends… of spring… of skulls… of wild magic… of every experience life has inked into my blood… and of how lucky I am to have the strength to craft them into poems and stories to share with you.

Do you count personal blessings? If so, do tell me of a wee blessing that brings all sorts of gigantic smiles to your face. Yummy grows yummier when spread. Really. 😉

Unchilled

“Childhood’s a collection of lies.”

“Really?” I laughed into the phone, and my back spasmed. “Where’s the evidence?”

“In memories suggesting I used to wish for snowstorms”, she said.

“I have a copy of your ‘Come Snowstorm Come’ spell, glued to the front page of my ‘Warrioresses Survive Together’ journal, which corroborates your recollection.”

“I forgot about that.” She laughed and then cussed.

“Pain’s getting worse?”

“Nah, just the cold carving sour nothings inside my bones.”

“Let’s take the chisel and eye-gouge the bastard.”

“Together”, she said.

“Always”, I said, and the warmth of our combined laughter unchilled the world.
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for Robin

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the wee notes…

– Linked to Friday Fictioneers. Visit Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog, to join the creative fun. Follow this LINK, to read what others have brewed out of the photo prompt.
– Also link to Prompt Nights ~ Come chase oh fleeting thoughts of the moment. Sanaa invited us to celebrate World Thinking Day (Feb 22nd), by catching up with a friend, and writing a poem (or fiction piece) based on the conversation with them.

photo by Sarah Potter