There is a point at which pain ceases to be a source of spiritual wisdom and perspective and starts to just become a pain.
I am close to that tipping point at the moment.
It’s easy to work out when this point is reached. Nagging pain in my lower back and down my left leg has started to turn the world into black and white, which, though it may be incredibly retro and artistic, is not how it’s supposed to be. The pain has become foreground instead of background, and people who tell me the world is a beautiful place have just become an irritation.
Positivity does not make this pain go away. None of the drugs I’ve been prescribed do, either. I visualise the sharks of my immune system attacking the cells of my pain to no avail. As in real life, the numbers of a prey species always vastly outnumber the number of predators.
That is what is known as the balance of nature, and it is pitiless. There will always be more fish than sharks, more midges than swifts. And there will always be more pain than positive images.
It is unfortunate.
It is just a matter of time. That sounds horrible, like I am waiting for death, which, of course, in a way, we all are, but it is only bad backache, and it will sort itself out eventually, whatever I do or think about it.
It is a function of coming down out of the trees to walk upright in the tall brown grasses of the savannah. Unfortunately, evolution works on a very slow speed, and so I am paying the price for that crazy monkey who didn’t carry out a risk assessment on his or her lifestyle choice.
So now I am condemned to lying on the floor with an ice pack beneath my spine, and limiting my time hunched over the computer keyboard. I hobble painfully to the woods and back with Ruby. She has no idea of the pain she is causing. Nor does the chiropractor, who tells me it is an excellent thing to do.
“Keep mobile,” he says, in his east European accent. I guess he works on the assumption that the more pain I’m in the more money I’m prepared to give him.
My trail of tears into the dark night of the soul continues . . . Look on the bright side, mate, don’t be so negative!