On this day in 1830, the great poet Emily Dickinson was born. I feel a great kinship with her because of her agoraphobia. I would rather conduct my relationships through letters. (I’m not saying this is a good thing.) But Dickinson was also interested in a lot of the same things that I am, and her thinking of metaphysics certainly parallels mine.
Regardless, I thought I would present “The Mystery of Pain.” I found a version online for teachers where it comments, “This poem is suitable to be taught for Junior High School students because it has a great moral value of life. It notices to be patient when we are in a pain, and we have to realize that everything will change, there is no everlasting pain. Since the language used is quite hard to understand, the teacher should assist students to find the correct interpretation of the poem.”
All I can say is that I hope the teachers understand the poem better than whomever wrote that! Let me give you my interpretation. We tend to not be able to imagine that we will always feel the way we now do and that’s a drag when we are feeling pain. But the enlightened mind will know that the pain will go away, only to be replaced by another pain. I would find that a depressing thought if it were not exactly what I know to be true.
It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there were
A day when it was not.
It has no future but itself,
Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive
New periods of pain.
Happy birthday Emily Dickinson!
This article was part of last year’s birthday post, The Best Birthday Post Ever. I don’t normally do this, but I am suffering from some kind of food poisoning or something. I hope I feel better later!