The pain that has a broken heart

From “And our faces, my heart, brief as photos” by John Berger

“The existence of pleasure is the first mystery. The existence of pain has prompted far more philosophical speculation. Pleasure and pain need to be considered together, they are inseparable. Yet the space filled by each is perhaps different…

It has always been, in principle, simpler to relieve pain than to give pleasure or make happy. An area of pain is more easily located. With one enormous exception – the emotional pain of loss, the pain that has a broken heart. Such pain fills the space of an entire life. It may have begun with a single event but the event has produced a surplus of pain. The sufferer becomes inconsolable. Yet what is this pain, if it is not the recognition that what was once given as pleasure or happiness has been irrevocably taken away?”

(Italics mine)


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