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Pain

  • Pain has no effect but to steal some of my time.

  • Maybe we haven't made enough of pain — been too afraid of it. Don't be afraid of it.

  • Pain is not more difficult to bear as we grow older — it is just not easier.

  • ... if pain is a thief, stealing away your security, it does leave something in exchange: experience.

    • Lila Keary,
    • "When Good Intentions Happen to Bad Problems," in O: The Oprah Magazine ()
  • She said they [injections of morphine] didn't kill the pain but locked her up inside it.

  • In the country of pain we are each alone.

    • May Sarton,
    • "The Country of Pain," Halfway to Silence ()
  • Pain isn't always the enemy.

  • Pain is important: how we evade it, how we succumb to it, how we deal with it, how we transcend it.

    • Audre Lorde,
    • in Nina Winter, Interview With the Muse ()
  • Pain is important: how we evade it, how we succumb to it, how we deal with it, how we transcend it. ... pain will always either change or stop. Always. ... The confidence that it will change is what makes bearing it possible. So pain is fluid. It is only when you conceive of it as something static that it is unbearable.

    • Audre Lorde,
    • in Nina Winter, Interview With the Muse ()
  • Ironshod horses rage back and forth over every nerve.

  • The secret to not being hurt like this again, I decided, was never depending on anyone, never needing, never loving. It is the last dream of children, to be forever untouched.

  • History may alter old pretenses and victories / but not the pain my sister never the pain.

  • The trick is not how much pain you feel — but how much joy you feel. Any idiot can feel pain. Life is full of excuses to feel pain, excuses not to live, excuses, excuses, excuses.

  • ... when pain has been intertwined with love and closeness, it's very difficult to believe that love and closeness can be experienced without pain.

  • I rock my pain to sleep like a mother her child / or I take refuge in it like a child in his mother / alternately possessor and possessed.

    • Rosario Castellanos,
    • "Second Elegy," in Julian Palley, trans., Meditation on the Threshold ()
  • Green wounds scarce abide the toucher's hand.

    • Elizabeth I,
    • 1579, in Elizabeth Jenkins, Elizabeth the Great ()
  • Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

    • M. Kathleen Casey,
    • in Karen Casey and Martha Vanceburg, The Promise of a New Day ()
  • Grief does not end and love does not die and nothing fills its graven place. With grace, pain is transmuted into the gold of wisdom and compassion and the lesser coin of muted sadness and resignation; but something leaden of it remains, to become the kernel arond which more pain accretes (a black pearl): one pain becomes every other pain ... unless one strips away, one by one, the layers of pain to get to the heart of the pain — and this causes more pain, pain so intense as to feel like evisceration.

  • Why is pain / Durable / Beyond love and poetry?

  • Both Grace and I 'took on' when in pain. We were Irish. We didn't wait for the wake to wail. We wailed while we were still hurting, not leaving all the work for others after we were past helping.

  • Pain is a forcing sieve that turns me to gruel.

  • ... pain is the root of knowledge.

  • All our Western thought is founded on this repulsive pretence that pain is the proper price of any good thing.

  • People who praise illness as bringing out the best in people ought to have their heads examined. Pain forces you to think about yourself, directs your interest to your own body and what is happening to it. You don't reach out benevolently, filled with good will for others. You don't seem to care enough. Pain makes you a little person, not a big one, and not a nice one, except perhaps in the case of saints, and I've never known one.

  • Survival is as much a matter of grace as fight. The expression, 'grace under pressure' implies the attainment of equanimity and equilibrium. The fundamental durability of the human body surprises us because the pain can be so intense — yet pain is often transient and hides the tremendous effforts the body is engaged in to heal itself.

  • The only thing worse than being hurt is everyone knowing that you're hurt.

  • As a stoic I must despise injury or, rather, I must not feel it, must not be affected by it so that it cannot violate the freedom of my soul ...

  • A wounded Deer — leaps highest — ...

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • c. 1860, in Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson ()
  • Pain — has an Element of Blank — / It cannot recollect / When it begun — or if there were / A time when it was not — .

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • c. 1862, in Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson ()
  • Pain gives us everything we need — / ... / She gives us our strange souls and our peculiar thoughts, / she gives us all of life's highest winnings: / love, solitude, and the face of death.

  • He knew that sometimes pain was a crutch to hold on to when the only alternative was nothing at all.

  • There is no real evil in life, except great pain; all the rest is imaginary, and depends on the light in which we view things.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1680, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 6 ()
  • There is, of course, no joy so great as the cessation of pain; in fact all joy, active or passive, is the cessation of some pain, since it must be the satisfaction of a longing, even perhaps an unconscious longing.

  • The unending paradox is that we do learn through pain.

  • ... everything that's worth having hurts in some way or other.

  • Pain and suffering are a kind of currency passed from hand to hand until they reach someone who receives them but does not pass them on.

  • The shaft extracted, does not cure the wound!

  • The human heart dares not stay away too long from that which hurt it most. There is a return journey to anguish that few of us are released from making.

  • ... one finds a way of building one's pain into the foundations of one's life so that it becomes a strength and not a cause of destruction.

    • Enid Starkie,
    • 1941, in Joanna Richardson, Enid Starkie ()
  • My soul is a broken field / Ploughed by pain.

  • Pain can be washed out with a song. / Pain can become jazz digested and transformed.

  • Who loves his pain denies his god.

    • Jean Garrigue,
    • "A Demon Came to Me," A Water Walk by Villa d'Este ()
  • An ancient principle reminds us to look for salvation in the darkest, most painful parts of our lives. We emerge into the light not by denying our pain, but by walking out through it. The common turn of phrase we apply to this wonderful action of grace is: 'that was a blessing in disguise.'

  • I could not recall how much time had passed for somehow or other pain is timeless, absolute. It has removed itself from space. It always has been and always will be for it exists independent of relations. I feel it as myself, and when it ceases I will cease.

  • Life's sharpest rapture is surcease of pain.

  • There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest it searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And, dying, it rises above its own agony to outcarol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen, and God in his heaven smiles. For the best is only bought at the price of great pain. Or so says the legend.

  • Pain is a great teacher, but most of us would rather learn some other way.

  • Right there is the usefulness of migraine, there in that imposed yoga, the concentration on the pain. For when the pain recedes, ten or twelve hours later, everything goes with it, all the hidden resentments, all the vain anxieties. The migraine has acted as a circuit breaker, and the fuses have emerged intact. There is a pleasant convalescent euphoria.

  • And I have learned now to live with it, learned when to expect it, how to outwit it, even how to regard it, when it does come, as more friend than lodger. We have reached a certain understanding, my migraine and I.

  • That no one dies of migraine seems, to someone deep into an attack, an ambiguous blessing.

  • Isn't the fear of pain next brother to pain itself?

  • To view your life as blessed does not require you to deny your pain. It simply demands a more complicated vision, one in which a condition or event is not either good or bad but is, rather, both good and bad, not sequentially but simultaneously.

  • One does not die from pain unless one chooses to.

    • Wakako Yamauchi,
    • "Makapuu Bay," in Asian Women United of California, eds., Making Waves: An Anthology of Writings By and About Asian American Women ()
  • The pain that I carried was never validated because my scars didn't show on the outside. In retrospect, I often wished that I had carried my scars on the outside. At least no one could have denied their existence.

  • The pain we bring to others we cannot escape ourselves.

  • Ah, me! the Prison House of Pain! — what lessons / there are bought! — / Lessons of a sublimer strain / Than any elsewhere taught ...

  • There was no reality to pain when it left one, though while it held one fast all other realities faded.

  • Pain is like a new room in your house that you never knew you had. If you had known, you would have bolted and locked the room past any entering. But truly, it is a room like any other, four glaring white walls and a dark hard floor, and if you don't try to get out, it is possible to remain in it. Once you tried to get out, you ... couldn't ... stand ... it. Don't think of getting out.

  • Pain is a new room in your house.

  • From little pain you flinch away but great pain must be embraced.

  • Even pain / Pricks to livelier living ...

    • Amy Lowell,
    • "Happiness." Sword Blades and Poppy Seeds ()
  • Here's all I know about pain: Nobody wants any, and everybody gets some. That's all anybody knows about pain right there in one little sentence.

  • There is nothing inherently wrong with a brain in your nineties. If you keep it fed and interested, you'll find it lasts you very well.

  • Pain is real when you get other people to believe in it. If no one believes in it but you, your pain is madness or hysteria or your own unfeminine inadequacy. Women have learned to submit to pain by hearing authority figures — doctors, priests, psychiatrists — tell us that what we feel is not pain.

  • Living in a culture that prefers to shut out the dark, avoid shadows, and anesthetize pain means that many people are isolated. ... Family, friends, and co-workers, fearful of the dark, are reluctant to participate in our shadow experience and may urge us to be done with the dark before it is done with us.

  • Pain heightens every sense. More powerfully than any drug, it intensifies colors, sounds, sight, feelings. Pain is like a glass wall. It is impossible to climb it, but you must, and, somehow, you do. Then there is an explosion of brilliance and the world is more apparent in its complexity and beauty.

  • When pain has been constant, it has its own momentum and laws. The vital thing is to break its ascendancy over the mind.

  • His pain was his most precious and secret possession, and Six held on to it as fiercely as a jewel robbed from a corpse.

  • Pain is the most individualizing thing on earth. It is true that it is the great common bond as well, but that realization comes only when it is over. To suffer is to be alone. To watch another suffer is to know the barrier that shuts each of us away by himself. Only individuals can suffer.

  • To avoid pain at all costs forces us to reject half the lessons life can teach.

    • Jan Pishok,
    • in Karen Casey, A Woman's Spirit ()
  • Where does the pain go when it goes away?

  • ... there are hurts so deep that one cannot reach them or heal them with words.

  • There's no way that I know of to avoid pain absolutely, but suffering is the interpretation we choose to place on the pain we encounter.

  • ... it is not tears but determination that makes pain bearable.

  • Pleasure and pain, the good and the bad, are so intermixed that we can not shun the one without depriving ourselves of the other.

  • My mother always says that fear and pain are immediate, and that, when they're gone we're left with the concept, but not the true memory.

  • When pain is over, the remembrance of it often becomes a pleasure.

  • There is room in the halls of pleasure / For a large and lordly train, / But one by one we must all file on / Through the narrow aisles of pain.

  • The thing about pain ... is that it makes you feel rather lonely.

  • The painting starts to become its own self. But I must be able to detect this. The painting changes and I have to change with it or else it will fail. I'm leading it and following it at the same time.

  • You take a painting, you have a white, virginal piece of canvas that is the world of purity, and then you put your imagery on it, and you try to bring it back to the original purity.

  • The painter constructs, the photographer discloses.

  • Paintings invariably sum up; photographs usually do not. Photographic images are pieces of evidence in an ongoing biography or history. And one photograph, unlike one painting, implies that there will be others.

  • I don't very much enjoy looking at paintings in general. I know too much about them. I take them apart.

    • Georgia O'Keeffe,
    • in Alexander Fried, "An Artist of Her Own School," San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle ()
  • I have painted portraits that to me are almost photographic. I remember hesitating to show the paintings, they looked so real to me. But they have passed into the world as abstractions — no one seeing what they are.

  • ... I ... found myself saying to myself — I can't live where I want to — I can't go where I want to — I can't do what I want to — I can't even say what I want to. ... I decided I was a very stupid fool not to at least paint as I wanted to and say what I wanted to when I painted as that seemed to be the only thing I could do that didn't concern anybody but myself ...

  • God told me if I painted that mountain enough, I could have it.

  • I see no reason for painting anything that can be put into any other form as well.

  • I believe that one should not think too much about nature when painting, at least not during the painting's conception. The colour sketch should be made exactly as one has perceived things in nature. But personal feeling is the main thing.

  • Painting is my vehicle of transit. I don't always know where I am going or what it means.

  • There is no right and wrong way to paint except honestly or dishonestly. Honestly is trying for the bigger thing. Dishonestly is bluffing and getting through a smattering of surface representation with no meaning ...

  • ... in painting I try to make some logic out of the world that has been given to me in chaos. I have a very pretentious idea that I want to make life, I want to make sense out of it. The fact that I am doomed to failure — that doesn't deter me in the least.

    • Grace Hartigan,
    • in Colin Naylor and Genesis P-Orridge, eds., Contemporary Artists ()
  • Everything amazes me, and I paint my amazement which is at the same time wonder, terror, laughter. I would exclude none of my amazement. My desire is to make pictures with many different things, with every contradiction, with the unexpected. I would like to become so agile, so sure of my movements, and of my voice, that nothing could escape me, neither the buoyancy of the birds, the weight of the stone, nor the glow of metal. I would like to observe attentively the strings that pull people forward or hold them back. One should go everywhere, dance, play music, sing, fly, plunge into the depths of the sea, watch lovers, enter factories and hospitals, know by heart many poems, the code civil, and the history of nations. But, alas, painting is long, and the days are short.

  • I do not suppose that any artist imagines he has attained perfection, and, far from any such presumption on my part, I have never yet been quite satisfied with any work of mine.

  • A painter's hand has a thirst for thieving, it steals from heaven and makes a gift to the memories of men, it feigns eternity and it delights in this pretence almost as if it had created rules of its own, more durable and more profoundly true.

  • The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint always whatever passes through my head, without any other consideration.

  • I paint my own reality.

  • I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.

    • Frida Kahlo,
    • in Deborah G. Felder, The 100 Most Influential Women of All Time ()
  • Paintings, like dreams, have a life of their own and I have always painted very much the way I dream.

    • Leonor Fini,
    • in Nina Winter, Interview With the Muse ()
  • The wonderful thing about paintings is that they cannot lie. You can always feel with what kind of energy it has been painted. You can feel the conviction of the painter or her lack of it.

  • I paint the way some people write their autobiography. The paintings, finished or not, are the pages of my journal, and as such they are valid.

  • I paint from the top down. First the sky, then the mountains, then the hills, then the houses, then the cattle, and then the people.

  • ... I get inspiration from things that have nothing to do with painting: caricature, items from newspapers, sights in the street, proverbs, nursery-rhymes, children's games and songs, nightmares, desires, terrors. ... That question [why do you paint?] has been put to me before and my answer was, 'To give terror a face.' But it's more than that. I paint because I can't help it.

  • I can always paint very well with my eyes, but with my hands it doesn't always work out.

    • Käthe Kollwitz,
    • 1942, in Hans Kollwitz, ed., The Diaries and Letters of Käthe Kollwitz ()
  • Painting is a lot harder than pickin' cotton. Cotton's right there for you to pull off the stalk, but to paint, you got to sweat your mind.

    • Clementine Hunter,
    • in Shelby R. Gilley, Painting By Heart: The Life and Art of Clementine Hunter ()
  • I paint pictures which do not exist and which I would like to see.

    • Leonor Fini,
    • in Nina Winter, Interview With the Muse ()