Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 10/05/2020

Like an Elephant

Yesterday, after having driven to NH on Saturday, we were set to drive back to NYC. That’s a lot of driving in 24 hours and may have been the reason this happened but who really knows.

Anyway, around 1:30pm I was cleaning out the car, washing the windows and getting it ready for the trip when I began to notice a quiet disturbance in my visual field; my left eye to be exact. It was an undulating, crescent shaped iridescent aura. I knew from my one experience prior that this portended a migraine and went to inform my wife that we may not be able to leave so soon.

She was angry and simply didn’t believe me. She suggested I take 200 mg of ibuprofen (good active) and go lay down but continued to take pot shots at me throughout the day. Eventually, the aura and headache went away and I drove us back home as well as making a stop at an orchard but felt ill for most of the drive.

My point here is this: I was really hurt by her insistence that I was lying and, perhaps equally so, by the idea that my suffering didn’t matter and that I needed to shut up and deal. And yet, as painful as that was, I see now what a good lesson it was.

My suffering doesn’t matter to anyone but me and, truthfully, what does sympathy gain me? An excuse to wallow? Permission to be heedless? A pass to stop striving? So, I should actually be thankful. And, instead of being angry and resentful, giving her the silent treatment as punishment, I should remove myself in whatever ways I can right now to refocus on the Dhamma and in strengthening my inner refuge.

I need to learn how to be a lamp and an island for myself because there is no one else who can do that for me. So, my thanks to my migraine and a disbelieving spouse for pointing out the Dhamma again and rousing me from my slumber.


  1. Still, a migraine can be unbearable. Driving with even part of one can be hazardous, too. There are lessons for both of you here.
    So how was your visit to the Granite State?

    • Yes, kit was worrisome and I was hyper vigilant for that reason. NH is always delightful-especially when it serves as a counterpoint to NYC’s gray and polluted skies. Wishing you well!

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A hub for the music, culture, knowledge, and practice of Irish stick-fighting, past and present.