My Life as a Pincushion
Really Feeling This Pincushion
Sometimes I feel like a human pincushion in a world of needles, violated from every direction–and as if that is, moreover, my sole purpose in life. Now, I know that choosing to look at things differently would result in a less painful sense of existence, as in: “X really sucks, but Y and Z are great, and who wouldn’t want Y and Z?” I know it’s not just me–so many friends and fellow bloggers are dealing with the barbs of life, too, valiantly charting their steps to happiness, serenity, solvency and simplicity, all in order to feel less pained by life and more in charge of it. Yet we all sometimes slip and draw blood, too.
Ideally, I’d prefer to be more like the wind than a pincushion, where the slings and needles of outrageous fortune would pass through, and never pierce, never puncture, never attach. It’s the attachments that are, literally and figuratively, the sticking points. The Pins and Needles are happy in their pinnyness and needlyness and it would never occur to them you are anything but happy to serve as their very own pincushion, perfectly suited for the sharpness of their jabs: after all, you’re still here, right?
But back to looking at it in a different way. Zen wisdom tells us that it is impossible to know what is good or not good for us, because even things that are not good can open the doors to something much better. How, then, can the pins be good?
Acupuncture! Each fine point that makes its way into my being serves a purpose, to help me correct misguided action, to help me heal myself, right? Some are inserted deeply, some shallowly, some are set to vibrate, all located to get the old qi going in the right direction. It’s not supposed to hurt, though.
Tats! Maybe all the needles are leaving, figuratively speaking, designs upon my psyche instead of scabs and scars? I’m not sure I’d want to see the results. One of the nice things about the human brain is the possibility of forgetting, or of the memory of pain diminishing with time (like women who can face having more kids). Nah. My psyche is a Permanent Record, and I would prefer not to see a lot of painful marks upon it.
Injections! Could the Needles of Life be inoculations, moments of pain that reward me with immunity against further sufferings, cures for neuroses, anaesthesia for heartaches? Or maybe they threaten to become a “fix,” and one that’s more frightening than fun? I suspect they’re more likely to deliver truth serum.
Sewing! Hmmm. That’s more like it. They are just pins and needles, after all. Pins that hold together the different pieces of life, and the different points of view. Needles are there to sew everything together with some threads of meaning, to mend the holes, to alter what doesn’t fit anymore, to redesign what one no longer likes.
As a writer, I’m a pincushion. I compulsively examine each pin, to consider just how I feel about it. The particular pattern and number of pins that have been stuck in me have inked my point of view, rechannelled the flow of my thinking, and have optimized the conditions for a healthy imagination (or warped, as it may). Of course, as a writer I spend far too much time at my desk, and will no doubt come to look like a plump, overstuffed blob covered in fabric!