Pain (Haibun)


Pain reminds me that I’m breathing, still able to appreciate the fragrance of French roast coffee brewing, the diced red pepper, onion and jalapeño mixture sizzling in the pan. Today is a good day. When I roll out the dough for the onion tart, the leg barely protests, and as I sip ginger tea while the tart bakes, no throb interrupts my pleasure.

Sometimes the hip shocks me with its barbed lance attack, or the knee rasps “not today, sonny,” and I grimace, concentrate on deliberate forward movement, one short step followed by another, into the kitchen or down the steps to the shack.

Music soothes, as does poetry, but occasionally the weight of the guitar is more than the leg can bear. Still, when I manage to lose myself in a tune or a few phrases, I drift in their currents, weightless, free.

Oh, to climb that hill
among those lost maples
Look — my shoe’s untied

* * *

“Pain” first appeared in The Zen Space in July 2018.

13 thoughts on “Pain (Haibun)

  1. Thank you for sharing this part of your life.
    My aunt suffered from untreatable pain. The doctors sent her to a class where they taught her to focus on other sensations. After she completed the class, the pain remained but became distant, less insistent. It sounds like you’ve found a similar approach.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Some of my pains are the result of stupid actions on my part, and do indeed pain me some. Other pains were caused in defense of others, and when they flare up, it merely reminds me that sometimes you have to pay a price to do the right thing, and that pain brings a smile to my face and warmth to my heart..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A poem many, and I, can relate too. I think now often of my youth when lack of will would keep me from doing something. Now, an old man, my body also deducts from my attempts and accomplishments.


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