#563: can it feel this wrong?

[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]

there are some fundamental problems with me, and i am fully aware of that as fact. if anyone is qualified to say that about another person, self is always it. is my new obsession part of that problem? i’d love to know. as i reconsider my intro, i think i am just different. that we all find beauty in different places, and that i am just looking in a new place.

recently i have found myself liking a new kind of art. well, to qualify i guess i should say that it is likely only i consider it art. the turning point that made me realize this came the other day while out of town. i sat there looking at someone enthralled by the anguish on her face. it made me think back to the CD cover for Heavenly Voices i recently purchased. the cover is adorned with a woman’s face in what appears to be guilt ridden pain.

shortly after seeing her face i realized that the expression she had was cause of my joy. all this time, i had taken pleasure in other’s pain, or more directly, the reflection they had taken of their own pain. even more specifically, a beautiful female face wearing the look of guilt or sorrow.

here is an excerpt from a sort of journal i keep, detailing my thoughts immediately after the encounter:

“drizzling rain, steady bumps. one nice thing to an otherwise depressing day. Atlanta transit the one hour stage for today. Returning to the airport she sat across from me. Friendly smile before reading to pass the time. Exchanged time of day for brief eye contact.

i sat there contemplating my day occasionally glancing over. her face etched out emotional yin yang and drew me in. corners of her mouth turned up, as if she was truly happy. eyes and brow a contradiction to that happiness. the anguish etched in her face had sat with her for a long time. it was as if i could feel her pain and suddenly understand the hurt. one second and all i could read was guilt on her brow. what had she done that weighed so heavily?

the buzzer sounded and the train stopped. the doors parted as she stood up. with a gentle smile she bid me good day. her happy facade had returned and she left me there to ponder her guilt for her.”

I think back to her sitting there, staring down at the floor thinking about whatever consumed her. I wanted to go over and just touch her face. To feel the pain etched in it. Run my finger along the contours of her face.

The thought of guilt, sin, confession, attrition, and other raw emotions fascinates me. I find parts of them beautiful to say the least. It is difficult for me to describe the relationship between the pain and the inherent beauty I see in it.

discussion on said topic the other day lead to an interesting comment by a new friend. she said “pain is one of the most base emotions.. and a certain naivete is put forth by a genuine display of pain.” it didn’t hit me until over a week later that what she said is dead on.

think about it. society says not to show pain or any emotion at all. showing something so ‘bad’ and ‘primitive’ is a sign of weakness. to actually show emotion brands you with the label of ‘pansy’ or some other inadequate insult. to show such emotion is more often than not done under the guise of art, or by young people. young people who are naïve about what light they will be held in after doing so.

as well know, what society deems acceptable is hardly an appropriate guideline these days. with such a minority leading the way assigning values to social and philosophical elements, its easy to get tied up in what they decree. what better way to shirk free thought and give up control or say in your life. but we have gone down this rant before, and the issue at hand is so much more elegant. the face of pain…

as i sit here reviewing what i wrote, i can’t help but to think how poor a job i have done in describing what i originally set out to. how do you adequately describe something you find so beautiful? give them something as an example? will that one example really make them understand how it affects you? of course not. perhaps telling them what extreme you would go through to convey the point? why bother. all i know is that i sit here at night sometimes, staring at the faces of women in pain. when i do, things seem so clear and calm.

i look back to my trip to Atlanta, and i can picture her face perfectly. no details of her, the train, or my feelings are lost and i have this feeling they will stay with me. we all feel pain at times. unfortunately, we have been told that pain is unconditionally bad, when more often than you might expect, it is good. if nothing else, it certainly allows us to enjoy pleasure all the more.

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