pain. we all experience it. none of us likes it. some of us cry over it. some of us complain about it. some of us, like job in the bible, even dare to challenge god to come down here to earth, experience the pain of his own creation, and then explain himself to us. i've done it myself.
deep in the throes of pain, a tiny voice came to me with a new idea. it said, "so you think i don't suffer the separation from you every bit as much as you suffer the separation from me?"
as sometimes happens in the mind of the artist or the poet, the lines on the floor linoleum seemed to gather themselves, shape themselves into the form of an eye, looking up at me in sadness and in pain. suddenly i realized.
"the big difference between us is this - you don't have anybody to talk to about it, do you?"
the eye on the linoleum floor grew more fluid, more clearly discernible to my human eye. the sadness became deeper; the pain, more visible.
the love within you loves the light that is within you, and just as they do in the soul of a human artist, they merge, they marry, and they reproduce. just as i cannot help but write poems because the creative process is part of my very nature, you cannot help but create us, and the worlds we live in. it is equally a part of your nature. the difference is, my poems lie peacefully in lines on paper, pixels on a screen. they never cry out to me in pain at night. your poems, your paintings, your sculptures, they are not so polite to you. you hear them scream. the conqueror rides into the city and you hear the screams of the women and the children as the victors do unspeakable things to them. unlike me, you cannot close the pages of what you have created, snap them into a folder, or put them back on the shelf to pick up another day when you are feeling stronger in spirit. you hear their screams constantly.
you may have no one to talk to, but i do care. i never realized the pain is something i share with you. at times i, like job, have challenged you to come down and explain yourself. now i invite you to come down and let me hug you. i do not know the full extent of your pain, but i know that we share something that cannot be put into words. let me comfort you.
come with me down to the waffle house and drink some coffee with my friends and me. plenty of us there know how you feel. i see it in the eyes of the cook, the waitresses; and like you, we just live with it too. we can all be friends there for a night. please.
i'll even pay for your cup.