On Armageddon and Sunshine


It could happen any time, tornado,

earthquake, Armageddon. It could happen.

Or sunshine, love, salvation. It could you know. That’s why we wake and look out—no guarantees in this life.

But some bonuses, like morning, like right now, like noon, like evening.

~ William Stafford (during the great depression)

I read this poem on www.wordswewomenwrite.wordpress.com this morning.

It brought tears to my eyes.

Now, this wasn’t a hard feat to accomplish today. For I am in that fragile and open state of mind, that follows after great distress, and release.

Yesterday I faced my own personal Armageddon, as I was reminded of a period in my life I’d rather forget.

When I was 23 I was living in Amsterdam, studying Cultural Anthropology. I worked hard, traveled a lot, and still believed myself to be immortal.

Then the pain started. It began with Repetitive Strain Injury, followed by this nagging pain in my lower back regions. Inexplicable to doctors and specialists. The pain made it very uncomfortable to sit, or stand, or even lay down.

Day and night I would walk the streets of that charming old city, the curvy roads paved with cobble stones, the lighted canals framed by crooked houses. It was a beautiful scenery, but what would I have given to just sit still somewhere and obtain peace, no pain, even if just for a few minutes.

The pain became worse for two years, before it slowly started to subside. Just as I had never known what caused it, I didn’t know what made it go away.

Yesterday I went to see my manual therapist. For the first time he worked on my lower back. POW! The exact same feeling, at the exact same place.

It scared the hell out of me.

This pain. This is my Armageddon.

I felt it flooding over me again, like a Tsunami one can’t escape. Flushing with it all these emotions of fear, and anger, powerlessness and grief.

Last night I was crying and sobbing and cursing in bed. I was (and still am) terrified the pain will get a hold on me again.

This could happen. It happened before.

But:  “sunshine, love, salvation.”, YES, they could happen as well.

My boyfriend encouraged me last night to let the pain in. To really feel it,n After the crying and the shouting and the telling of my story, I was able to relax and sleep.

This morning I woke to find the pain had find me again.

But there was also sunshine, a humming kid, a partner’s embrace, the smell of coffee, a beautiful poem.

I’ll try and let it all in today.

The good,

with the bad,

and the ugly.

Resistance will not get me through this.

Only love has that kind of power..

I don’t know if this pain is here to stay, or not. Like William Stafford observed a 100 years ago: there are no guarantees in this life.

But there are some bonuses. If we care to look.

Love on,