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Shades of Pain


Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.

Khalil Gibran

God knows there are different kinds of pain.

In a universal sense, most of us would define pain as the dictionary does, to  include physical suffering, mental and emotional torment. In truth, many of us live with or have experienced one or all of these descriptions of pain in our lifetime.

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However, I have often wondered  about a different type of pain, one which is both  heavy and empty at the same time. Really hard to explain but easy to identify if you have ever experienced it. Unlike physical or emotional distress, to everyone else watching, you are perfectly fine.  Infact,  you function very well -your exterior façade is impeccable . Nonetheless, you know.  This pain hurts  almost  as much as if you had a boil on your finger. However, this lingers…

Seems curious really. That you could be in pain everyday, walk with it, function with it, love with it in your heart. You accept its presence but not once do you imagine just how different your life might be if you were free of its grasp.  I have no answers . I am simply sharing these thoughts and this piece  about Kabir is one way for me to explore this subject in prose. I suppose you could say that  perhaps I begin my journey to take off the layers which sit and wait in my own subconscious. I really don’t know what Kabir`s carthasis will bring forth but as he sheds, I will write. Here goes…

As the world woke to another ordinary day, the sun warmed the lives of  many who carried on  in ordinary ways. Kabir wondered why his heart felt like stone.  He imagined holding his heart in his hands and like a doctor, curiously looking at it to work out where the bruises lay. He could feel its coldness in his hands. He glided his fingers over the hues of hardness and the peculiar streaks and spots which circled  the centre of his heart. It was the other kind of pain.


The one that nobody could see, no tell-tale trail of red where the gash screamed in copious relief. No darkened  scabs  easily soothed and softened  by  careful rubs  fortified with  creams. No. This heaviness lay siege and reached out for him every time he thought he could step away from himself and try something new. But It waited in his veins for his mind to be clear again, a stealthy shadow lurking on the fringes of his dreams, hovering and darkly malevolent. He readied himself. The  fear crept in, consumed his senses and just like that it took over. He felt  nothing of the golden day which stretched ahead. He heard only the echo of tiredness in his steps.


As he did everyday, he smiled at the passers-by who waved at him as he walked the same road. He waved at the drivers in the cars who called his name as they manoeuvred the start of their day. Only he could feel the waves of un-variegated greyness seeping in. His heart laid bare, frozen entirely by something beyond himself; he became that child again, seeking only the softness of safe hands.


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