I’ve mentioned it before, one of my favourite pieces of literature starts: “I have had to learn the simplest things last” (Maximus to Himself by Charles Olson).
For most things, this is true for me, and will be true for a while… but one of them escaped my realisation of knowledge, until I read it in Haruki Murakami’s book “What I talk about, when I talk about running”. Haven’t read any of his novels yet by the way, just the one about running (thanks Michael!) (and I haven’t even finished that).
but, I am lucky.
Very lucky indeed.
Two reasons I can think of, off the top of my head; First one is, I have been blessed with friends who know which books I should be reading, and they are kind enough to insist on making it happen. Second, I learned a very simple thing, very early on.
And that simple thing is what my mother taught me, from the first moment I could almost speak and think well enough to understand it:
You can cry if you want to, but either way, this has to be done
See, when you are 3 years old (or even younger) and you have to be in hospitals quite so often, not to mention the inevitable every other day needle appointment at home, there are not many ways you can, or better yet, know how to deal with it. Not many of my “peers” shared that understanding. Somehow, and I am not at all praising my intellect or sensibility here, only my mother’s, I did. What my mother said, inexplicably, found in my toddler head the right place to sit, and made sense. I stopped crying and just went with it (I can’t even believe it, this is one reason I am writing it here).
My mother was saying this, and I only have her to thank, for the only real lesson I got ahead of everybody else:
Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional
…well, say it like that to a 3 year old who is being stabbed in the vein by a nurse, and we’ll see where it get’s you, but I guess a marathon runner doesn’t want to feel like a crying baby when repeating his/her mantra, right?
Now, I only wish I could have put that in effect in other aspects of my life. I might have been happier. Then again, maybe not. The only truth is, you can only apply it to the most important things, or, you will find the most important things by it’s application.
am I making any sense?
And this would be an introduction to another subject I wanted to write about, making stories. *Hint*: It is painful.