For three days I had all the wisdom drilled out of me by pain. Two root canals in three days, one so powerful I had to resort to hydrocordon many times, and ibuprofen that threw my stomach into a tizzy. I was just a suffering creature with no thought in my head, just fear of the return of the unbearable monster, pain. I can’t even imagine what a prolonged period of pain would do to someone — I would think death would be welcome under such circumstances.

I kept thinking of my comment at the yoga ashram about death is the worst that can happen. I was wrong. Pain is worse. Here was hubris. Never be certain about anything, for you will always be proven wrong. Certainty smacks of ego.

When it passed — and how wonderful that it passes!; that everything passes!; that even good things, even life passing is a corollary of this passing, passing! — it made me realize how absence of pain is a joy! I have been exhilarated for the past two days.

Pain was a reminder to remember to be grateful for its absence on a daily basis. It could be a mantra and a prayer of gratitude: Dear Beloved Being, thank you for not giving me pain today. Thank you, thank you time a billion.

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