28 March 2016


Know about this popular and famous phrase, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”? Forget how people contort it to say “beauty is in the eye of the beer/bae holder” (though I find the latter quite amusing).

A few days ago, a friend and I were discussing on the topic of pain. Funny, right…how people can sit and hold a discussion on pain. Well, other than the joy and laughter shared, love for food and statistics (read math), these are the perks of having knowledgeable friends. You should have at least one or two of these; by the way…they make life interesting. So we were discussing (as is typical of statisticians/scientists) the pros and cons of pain. You know, the way dudes would sit down and discuss the pros and cons of a certain lady/car or how ladies discuss the pros and cons of a certain outfit/guy/program/hairstyle/weave/shoe *see what I did there?* or how a group of friends discuss about scripture and religious philosophies…well, that kind of discussion. We came to an interesting conclusion; the beauty of pain is in the eye of the pain-bearer.

See, most of us have been through pain of some sort. Some of us have gone through so much pain that we have morphed to this weird thing that is immune to pain. Some of us have gone through so much pain that we could easily live with pain in the same house like we have been married for the past decade. We are familiar with pain; we know pain like the proverbial back of our hands. Some of us went rouge after an episode of pain and became wrecks. The loss of a loved one, the death of a family member, losing a job or a contract, a heart break, getting news of terminal illness, a dead career or passion, rejection, depression, someone telling you “you are good for nothing”, that “we need to talk” or “I think we should take time off”, divorce, separation…name it. Well, some of us went through a certain episode of pain that made us suicidal and those serial killers we hear about. Others became serial killers of dreams, relationships, hopes, and basically everything they come across.

But then there is this other side of pain, the one that somehow morphs you into something stronger…something, something so rock-solid that whatever is thrown at you…you just smile and say “I’ve been through hell and came out stronger” or “ah, that? I’ve seen worse”. The kind that makes you think about the truism that if it doesn’t break you down, it makes you stronger. I have seen, kind-of admired and envied these kind of people. See, this pain can make one take the energy from the sting and ache and turn it to fuel. V-power to their sheer determination and endurance. Pieces are written, books are completed, paintings are finished, codes are written and perfected, and manuscripts are written and completed. Albums and records are written and recorded, exams are aced, an instrument is learnt, a farm gets all tilled. They become unstoppable. People would have a better chance of knocking a hurtling oil tanker off its path by sticking their leg out than break their spirit. All because they choose to take up that throbbing ache, that head-ache-causing and appetite-losing anguish and embrace a side of it that most people CHOOSE not to. 

Source: pixabay.com

So, this is to pain. To the beauty of pain that is in the eye of the pain-bearer. To  painorphosis, the kind of morphing that makes you Olivia-pope-dance to Josh Groban’s “Below the line” when it plays on your home theatre at full volume. Holding a glass of milk; at 2 am.

Facebook:  Njeri Kareithi 
Twitter: @deekareithi 


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    1. Pirated? You know what that is? Thanks for reading though

  2. I soo love this Kareithi. Painorphosis.
    Knowing from deep within, being continually convinced although the pain; that no Matter what happens, all will be well.
    The pain, the process, the other side.