Pain has an element of blank

Pain has an Element of Blank; poem by Emily Dickinson

Pain has an element of blank;
It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there were
A day when it was not.
It has no future but itself,
Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive
New periods of pain.


Pain is the sign for something not answered

Ivan Illich, The Nemesis of Medicine:

“Pain is the sign for something not answered; it refers to something open, something that goes on the next moment to demand, What is wrong? How much longer? Why must I/ought I/should I/can I/ suffer?”