"... Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven..." Something has happened. For considerable intervals—I can’t specify how long since Time has ceased its day-to-night procession of one-to-countless stars—the pain stops. Sometimes between prayers, so it may not be so crucial to mutter, utter, or SCREECH my imperfect repertoire. What appears to be important is my relationship with Whomever might be listening. I say 'Whomever' rather than ‘whatever’ because The Presence I intuit exudes some sort of Ken.
    Is this delirium? There is every possibility that untold days, weeks, months of unremitting torture might warp a person's judgment, a person's very sanity, but as far as I can tell I’m lucid during these periods. In fact, I believe I’ve kept my wits throughout; not once have I swooned, or fainted, or even fallen asleep. Why? The better to rub my self-inflicted wounds with salt? That's one explanation. But it smacks of vindictiveness; whereas the aura surrounding 'Whomever' is definitely benign.
    Which reminds me of something said by a dear friend battling AIDS when I asked him if taking his own life were something he would consider. “Pain is a great seasoner of the soul; I wouldn’t want to turn up at Heaven's Gate insufficiently spiced.” G.G's droll sense of humor aside, his point was well taken. Destruction of self may preempt communion with God.
    I always assumed that aging taught us lessons about how to bow out gracefully. Each infirmity—from ever-weakening eyesight to arthritic knees—rehearsed us, as it were, for Life's Denouement. Was it wrong of me to wrest, from Death, its authority? Did I overstep the bounds of self-determination? Is taking one's life an act of concession or of conceit?
    “... give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us... ”

 

CHAPTER SIX

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