<-- back to the light at the end of the tunnel

the pain of Knowing

my friend steve, i like him a lot.
i know a few people (i once was one) who like to say they live on the edge. steve's the only person i know who really knows where the edge is, because he's gone over it, and returned to tell the tale. steve talks a lot about the bliss of ignorance, about how you cannot go back, and about how you wouldn't if you could. he is interested in whether other people would choose to forget, to go back. fortunately he has forgotten some of the bad things which have happened to him, and which he has made happen. he said he's thought about therapy or hypnotism to try and remember, but he thinks he's probably forgotten for good reasons.

i once heard a police detective turned 'true crime author' speak at a seminar about the dark side of humanity. the most chilling thing he said was about why he quit the police service:

"i have seen things i would like to forget, but can't."

there's a big difference between knowing things and thinking about them. but there are some things you can't know without thinking about. they are the things you really wish you didn't know.

pain is not a bad thing. if something hurts you, you have to feel the pain. you don't fix it by thinking about it, but if thinking about it helps you feel it, and if feeling it helps you know where it hurts, then you can look for the right medicine. which, if it's friendships, usually involves things like repentance and honesty and trust. and that clears the way for more pain, and from there it's a slippery slope.
(you don't have to worry too much about it though. hardly anyone chooses the right medicine. most people just go on stronger and stronger painkillers.)

well two years after i wrote that, Steve exercised the most profound freedom that anyone can. See you on the other side, Steve.

by Andrew, August 2005. thanks to Matthew Girdler for asking

--> on the other hand, i wrote this satirical thing about freedom
--> i'm not the only person who knows things