Just words: pain

Photo by Lamar Belina on Pexels.com
The cure for the pain is in the pain

Rumi says. This is what I read in a post by Tara Brach.


Hey, Friend,

These Rumi words have been playing in my head – on and off – for weeks now. We all see pain. A lot of the time. In a lot of places. We all feel pain. Sometimes we know. At times I did not. Not even that it was pain, that feeling. We all have pain. I believe. From what I saw and felt.

And I don’t like it. Pain. I used to say that. Often. Then I began to qualify. I don’t like unnecessary pain. For myself. For others. For others, especially. It used to make me angry. Why wage war on Ukraine, for example? Unnecessary and painful. Why ignore what your friend needs? Unnecessary and painful. For both of us. Why leave the table dirty, when you get up and go? Utterly unnecessary and pinprick painful. For your neighbor and your mind.

Cure for the pain: clean the table. Yup. Now. Cure for the pain: mind your friend as you mind yourself. Just do it. As they say in some advertising. Cure for the pain: learn that no country is ever yours. As president, pawn, or peon. Just steward. Steward just. And serve.

Then the opposite of pain is peace. Cured. And the word cure is somehow related to care.

Just words: Powerless

Mos.ru, CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There is a POW in power. There is less in power.  It’s powerless.

I wish I could talk to this little guy in the Kremlin. And I don’t see why not. His German is quite good, I am told. Younger Vladimir learned it well in the KGB in East Germany. My Russian used to be good. I learned it at university in Russia, when perestroyka and glasnost’ were frequent words. I should dig them out for this blog one day. I wish perestroyka would have been change. For the better. Glasnost’, it’s transparency, was only budding thirty-five years ago. You helped shatter it.

That’s what I would ask that guy whose face became a meme. A meme of fame with a little squared moustache most people in this beautiful world don’t just remember from Charlie Chaplin. I would ask the guy who shaves carefully daily: why? Is it really worth it? Sending men who are still blue-eyed children west – zapad with a Z – does it make you feel better? Less powerless? You are right, you are not your brother’s keeper. You never were. Then, why did you destroy his home? Did it make you feel safer in yours, next to the mausoleum? Why do you kill his family? Do your daughters hold you dearer for it? When you will have killed him, do you believe you will live longer? What will you do in your remaining days?  You have felt paranoidly powerless, I know. Will that change in your remaining days? This is the only thing you have power over. May you find peace for your Russian soul. You have heard Tchaikovski’s Swan Lake the other day.


When talking about the ongoing war in Ukraine, I cannot really say that I am playing with words, as I normally do under Just words. This is serious. Weighing words. My thoughts and prayers are with the Ukrainian people.

The other day, I met a young Ukrainian family here in San Diego. They established a small charity some years ago. Now their sole purpose is to feed suffering people in Ukraine. They are looking for support. Their website is https://icareministrys.org/.