The whole of last night I could not sleep thinking of Buddha. In fact until now, I have yet to sleep. What kept me awake was the excruciating pain that my tooth was giving me. It was terrible and you just do not know what to do. Toothaches affects both your ears and your head. All dentists are closed and today being a holiday too.
While sitting on my bed, "enjoying" the pain, my mind keeps floating back to Buddha and his questions on pain and suffering. He had asked why is there pain and suffering in life. I am asking the same question now but rhetorically. In one sense, the pain became "bearable" only because I was not sure whether there may be any more painful experiences that I may have to experience in the future. But at this point in time, the pain felt unbearable.
Between the wait for daylight to come and the hope of my dentist friend accommodating me on a holiday, there my mind floated among philosophical questions.
The ying and yang of life. The pain is physically unbearable but I told my mind that that is the yang of life before the ying (joy) comes later .
I always remind a seven year old friend that life is about balance. Ying and yang.
While I wished the toothache would just dissipate and promised to all that is good once it is over (so typically human!), I also could not avoid the thought that it just reminded me again about how dispensable I am in life. One toothache and all my plans go haywire. Human proposes and God disposes becomes so real.
When you have a severe toothache, all you can think about is for the pain to go away. Lofty ideals and the business of life seems suddenly so trivial.
Suddenly all else seems unimportant. You realise that you may have taken life too seriously. Imagine all these thought just due to one toothache. What if I had experienced worse things????
Thank God, 8 am finally arrived and I called up my dentist friend of Maha Dental Surgery, Taman Tun Dr Ismail. He kindly opened his clinic and treated me - being doctor and nurse at one go! Bless him for relieving my pain and working on a holiday. As always, he was kind and as gentle as possible. Do you realize it is difficult to find dental clinics open on public holidays?
The "aftermath" of pain is always the most joyful. I only wish my memory could record it accurately forever as a constant reminder of the things to be grateful for...and not to take life too seriously.