Pain and creativity

I woke up the other night with a gnarly headache from grinding my teeth (I thought I was relaxed).  While I was up massaging my jaw and waiting for the Tylenol to kick in I reflected on the experience of pain.

I’ve been so fortunate in that I have experienced very little pain from my disease – from the treatment yes – but not from the disease. I’ve had more pain from a broken foot and an ingrown toenail. Those things debilitated me in a completely different way from my disease, but were, fortunately, temporary.

Pain fills all the space. If I was to imagine painting pain, I would create great fiery red oversized painting that would howl with rage. For people who are in constant pain, I wonder how that shapes their experience. I wonder how they walk through their days.

It would be interesting to understand how creativity can help to deal with pain. The flip side is also to wonder how pain might influence creativity. Of course we hear about the tortured artist, but that is usually mental or emotional pain. Can physical pain open new doors to creativity or is it just too loud?

I found a few sites that explore the intersection of creativity and pain. I’m sure there are many more.

 

http://open.salon.com/blog/janicephelpswilliams/2011/03/02/pain_part_3_creativity_in_the_midst_of_pain

http://timetowrite.blogs.com/weblog/2011/05/creativity-can-come-from-pain.html

http://chronicallyinspired.com/

http://www.painfoundation.org/learn/publications/files/fibrocreativityproject.pdf

What has been your experience with pain?

 

Sam

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