Friday, 2 December 2011

Can we Transform Pain and Despair into Beauty?

A few nights ago, my carer and I watched the movie 'Another Earth'. There's a scene in the movie that's stayed with me since. One of the main characters is telling a story to the other main character, who is in a great deal of pain in more ways than just the physical. (clip embedded below but I'll give a text version for those who can't view the video.)

The story is of a cosmonaut who is all alone in his space capsule, looking down at the curvature of the Earth, and is lost in that beautiful moment. But then a tap, tap, tap starts somewhere inside the capsule. He tries to stop it but cannot. Days go by, like torture, and he now knows that this repetitive sound would break him. Would drive him crazy before he will reach his destination.

She begins to tap on the table with a spoon, comparing her tapping to that inside the cosmonaut's capsule. The cosmonaut realised that his only chance is to fall in love with the sound. To, rather than let the repetitive tap be annoying, instead perceive it as music. So he shuts his eyes, goes into his imagination. Then he opens them, and he doesn't hear tapping anymore. He hears music! And throughout the rest of his journey, he floats through space in total peace and bliss!

I was watching this and wondering how much it could be applied to the things that pull us down, causing us pain, illness, & other struggles. Is it possible that we could make music and beauty from our pain? Could we, somehow, turn a switch in our brains that helps us to see things a different way?? Not a healing, because who can stop a storm in it's path? (excepting God) More ... to still be living with all the same pain we were only moments before - but to see it and feel it.... experience it differently, somehow?

Image of The Eye of a storm, as seen from space!

I don't yet know the answer ... but I suspect that I would rather like to find out! I haven't been in a good place physically or emotionally recently. I want to climb out of it but it just seems impossible right now. I wish I could find a way to make it feel.... just not quite this bad, you know? To find comfort and rest within the turmoil of a storm of pain. To give myself an eye in that storm to wait it out for however long it lasts? Right now I feel like I'm living in the middle of a huge despair tornado, so I really would love for this to be possible! I do believe the brain, especially when combined with hope, is an amazing thing, capable of so much more than we know. Maybe it is possible to find a way to change our perception or our perspective! After all ... if you're on the inside of the storm pictured above, it would seem ugly and violent in the extreme, not to mention completely unforgiving. From above, though, in space, it's breathtakingly beautiful!!!

Oooh! Didn't I just get all meta-physical on you!! ;)

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  1. If only we could make this transformation of our pain & despair into beauty, what a blessing may follow. The solution the cosmonaut found (to cope with the tapping) sounds almost like mindfulness meditation.

    Here's hoping and praying that you have found / soon will find at least a degree of relief from your physical & emotional burden.

    Thanks for a very meaningful / thought provoking post.

  2. Yes they say there is total stillness in the eye of a storm. Whatever is our link with a spiritual existence i.e. music or words can transport us to places where we are at peace. The music or words seem come through us rather than from us.