P A I N . E V A P O R A T E S

“The eyes of care may gloss over and close, but always they return to hold the memory of your face. Life finds no weakness in hunger when held in Love.”


“Well, most people don’t…” the mechanic started.

That’s how the explanation of his thought process began, which enlightened me to his reasoning for requesting a wellness check. 

I knew it was a kind gesture, but initially, my appreciation faded because I became analytical, trying to decide whether intuition and value judgments were the same or different, and I felt anger at not knowing the answer because both seemed to rely heavily on emotion.

And emotion doesn’t really exist – unless I say it does.

I can’t hold sadness in my hands, and while I might carry a handful of someone else’s tears or my own, eventually they dissipate to nothing. I’m left with vapors—salt wounds that find recognition only if tasted with my mouth, or another’s—and still, I can’t know where first they originated, because they are from elsewhere, mixing into my skin and pheromones.

I don’t say to my child, “I wish to take your pain away”, because what appears painful to one is not to another, and regardless, pain doesn’t find possession by one body, but an inheritance through all. To take my child’s pain away in a current moment is but to postpone their pain for a future one.

I thanked him for the concern he expressed, reached out instinctively to rub his arm, then immediately regretted it, because I’d crossed his personal comfort zone, another thing most people don’t do, and he already could not look at me directly or into my eyes before I’d touched him.

Our guards are up with one another, yet occasionally, we are content to rely on value judgments as an excuse to call out another’s behavior, which although indifferent to good, bad, right or wrong, still appears too different from the standard armor we wear or are used to seeing others wear.

When concern for us exists within a framework, who do we become once another’s frame is removed and our work retired?

I arrived home upset, at false possession of paid care, because it’s only unpaid care that reaches out to hold our tears until they dry, and forever after.

Maybe that’s care that most people don’t recognize.

Love Waters
Love Waters

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