Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I don't know that there is anything more annoying than a splinter.  Splinters jam their way into a place just beneath the surface of the skin; not deep enough to be dangerous and just deep enough to create a nagging dull pain that does not go away.  Try to remove a splinter and you usually end up getting just the tip or, if you are lucky, 60% of the little booger.  Then comes the valiant attempts at do-it-yourself surgery including but not limited to needle punctures, exacto-knife incisions, and non-stop pushing and picking.  If you are lucky, you can infect yourself and end up requiring real medical attention.  So, what is the best course of action?  If at first, the splinter does not come out easily, nature must take its due course.  Eventually, the body will work a splinter out.  

I was thinking about splinters tonight on my way home from work as a great metaphor for things we don't understand, things that cause us pain in our lives.  We live in a world that demands solutions, that asks for things that are not easy to be removed.  We do not see the purpose in struggle, in pain, in suffering.  We see those things as splinters that must be removed.  Consequently, we end up harming ourselves further by trying to eliminate all suffering.  Suffering teaches us lessons that may not be apparent as the suffering is going on. Anguish and confusion are emotional splinters that are clearing a way for joy and peace but we have to allow the infinite wisdom of our souls to work through the discomfort.  We have to sit with the discomfort, allow it to seep into every inch of our being, wrap ourselves in the blanket of these dark and brooding emotions and simply acknowledge them as part of who we are and then let them go.  It is the last thing on the planet that anyone WANTS to do, but it is the emotional work that is required for us to grow, to evolve, to attain a greater understanding of who we are and what our purpose on this earth is.  


minus five said...

i feel you. on paper, my 2007 would have looked pretty awesome--i had just about anything and everything i thought i needed. i ended up losing a lot of things and ditching even more than that--on paper, my 2008, looks a lot like hell.

i've spent much of it in solitude. in questions. and difficult answers. and sometimes no answers at all. i've cried. i've hurt. i've felt tremendous loss.

technically, i should be miserable right now, but i'm not. i'm content and at peace in ways i can't understand and in ways that don't make sense.

i love smooth sailing and routines and patterns and part of me really wishes life could always be like that. at the same time, i've lived a few years that way, and it didn't do much for me in the way of growth. i've churned out more work this year than i have for probably the three years prior, all combined. i know better who i am and i know what i do and don't need. i know what matters and what doesn't and what's important and what can wait.

but getting through all of it can be sheer torture. i know that too. and there's no way to avoid it or go around it or know when it might end.

as natural as it may be to let splinters work themselves out, it's also pretty natural to keep picking at them.

Anne-Davnes Dusenberry Elser said...

Ah what beautiful metaphors you have discovered. Pain isn't a bad thing, though unpleasant. It makes us choose, marks a path and assures us that we are still moving.