Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Oxford English Dictionary defines suffering as:

‘the state of undergoing pain, distress, or hardship’

Someone today questioned my use of the word for this blog, disliking its negative connotations.

The word certainly has religious associations, of penance, of agony, of the tortured soul…

But here, suffering for me is not necessarily something negative, but is inextricably linked to the fact of being, of living, of experiencing life and its defining challenges. Suffering can accompany illness, physical and mental, but also the day to day negotiations of being, and mattering, in a world where one day we will cease to be. As such, it is undefinable and intangible, and therefore the experience can be a lonely and unshared one. Just sometimes, the arts manages to say it, to draw it, to scream it, and that expression of the otherwise repressed and unexpressed, may not lessen the suffering of humanness, but may perhaps make it a less lonely place to be.