Tolstoy had epilepsy. He wrote of the moment of well-being, even of ecstasy, that preceded a seizure. He longed for that moment while dreading the collapse that followed.
I know what that moment is, though I rarely experience it. For me there is a permanent feeling of malaise. I’m sick and I’m sick all the time. Some days are worse than others, but all days are bad.
I am broken. My interactions are impaired by my need to fight a monster that has no form, whose existence is traced on graph paper and seen in the blatant and subtle evils it works in my mind and body.
My children do not consider ninety minutes a moment, but, ticked out on the clock of suffering, ninety minutes of comfort –ninety minutes of well-being-- are no more than that.
I had my ninety minutes yesterday morning. My mind was clear and my body free of unremitting pain. There was liberation, but liberation was replaced by the certainty that any freedom gained would be lost.
I had no time to think the deep thoughts that eluded the Scarecrow. I filled my time praying for one more moment of freedom from the monster's noisy buzz, but my prayers were to a god who has stopped listening to me.
Job’s wife advised him to curse God and die, thinking that death would end his suffering. She may have thought that Job owed the god who played with his life a good curse. Job caller her senseless. Oh, yes, he said she only talked as the senseless women did, but the effect was the same. He asked, ‘Should we not take the bad from God along with the good?’
I ask, “Why should God give his children bad?” What larger issue hangs in the balance, the parties to which can be swayed by how well I suffer?