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Well then, love your suffering.
— Herman Hesse, Diary, 1918

Because I believe my suffering is great, I build an altar to it.  Draped in silks, festooned with jeweled cups.  I worship there each day.  Keep the candles lit.

Because I believe my suffering is epic, I compose verses to it. Weave complex melodies.  Sing them wherever I go.

Because I believe my suffering is unique, I guard it with a silver knife.

Because I believe my suffering is the fault of others, I feed on sour fruit and bitter herbs.

Because I believe my suffering is unjust, I fashion curses from scraps of cloth, wrapped with cord and bits of copper rain.

Because I believe my suffering should provoke sympathy in others, I dress it in gray rags and dirty garments like a wounded doll.

Because I believe my suffering is noble, I keep it in a satin purse.  Reach inside.  Stroke it throughout the day.

Because I believe my suffering is holy, I pray to it past midnight.

Because I believe my suffering is outside of me, I keep locked all the doors and windows to my home.  Dwell in airless, unlit rooms.

Because I believe my suffering is worse than yours, I force you to tend its cage like a pet bird.  Remove its waste.  Refresh its water.  Scatter seed.

Because I believe my suffering is destined, my throat will never know the sweet nectar of the quiet mind.

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