Discovery of The Pain Composition
Raw Material: pains and discomfortsOne particularly hot day, in my 14th summer, I was miserable with hayfever. My eyes itched and watered incessantly, and I could not stop sneezing. I had wet and crusty handkerchiefs in every pocket. They were so wet that my pants looled like I might have sat in a puddle. I was mowing the lawn with a push mower. The lawn was on the side of the hill and it was a very hot day.
My hands hurt where they gripped the rough wooden lawnmower handles.
DiscoveryI do not know what made me do it, but I found myself trying to become simultaneously aware of every pain and discomfort both physical and psychological.
It was not merely an exercise in the focussing of attention. I wanted to observe and measure the relative amounts and intensities of pain. While aware of the ache in my ankle, I wanted to also be aware of the pain in my sinuses, the lump in my throat and the sticky wet feeling in my pocket and be able to discern which sensation was the greater. I wanted to understand how they could all exist at the same time and be so different.
I wanted to compare and contrast all the aches, pains and discomforts as if they were all elements of an aesthetic composition, a living work of art in process. A composition of pain!
When I focussed on just one pain I became aware of it and experienced it and it almost seemed to get worse.
I have used and even relied on the Pain Composition technique many times since. It proved especially useful during basic training in the Army. It also was helpful in dealing with the emotional pain of unworkable romances when I was very young.
It was not until the creation of this website and when I began writing all the materials related to Flaws and Flaws Resources that I realized the Pain Composition technique was a perfect example of Flaws Theory applied to real life.