Once while visiting in Washington, I saw a park with statues for unknown fallen soldiers. It stirred something inside of me, not specifically because it was for soldiers, just because of the intense pain I felt when I saw it. It somehow echoed my own pain and loss. I came back home and immediately drew this sketch, to remind me of how moved I was by this incident.
Do you know how much pain you carry inside of you? Can you name it, or does it just drift around in a muddy sea of confusion and grief? We mostly mask out our pain, ignoring it – Heaven forbid we are ungrateful for everything we are blessed with. But every time when we get confronted with pain again (whether it is ours or somebody else’s), all those feelings come flooding back, and leave us with an unbearable deeply rooted and raw pain.
Pablo Neruda said: “Like a flower to its perfume, I am bound to my vague memory of you. I live with pain that is like a wound; if you touch me, you will do me irreparable harm”. Does time heal all wounds? Being a tortured artist most of my life, I know pain very well. I never believed time heals all wounds (and I still don’t). This caused me a great deal of anguish and heartache in my life. Like a certain song’s lyrics goes: “These wounds won’t seem to heal. This pain is just too real. There’s just some things that time cannot erase”.
Much later in my life, after I found real love, I suddenly realised one day that my pain is less. In fact, I don’t even notice it anymore. Even when I get confronted with pain, death or sorrow, I do not have the strong reaction I used to have. I realised that love brought a certain kind of balance into my life.
Without noticing it, this new found love and security broke down the walls of pain bit by bit. Barely noticeable at first, until one day you suddenly see the sun breaking through, and then you realise that it happened. You are free. Maybe pain can heal. Not by time though, but through true love and forgiveness.