A Theory About Migraines

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Ogata Korin
Wind God
In the public domain

I have my own theory about migraines.

We all know the symptoms

     which cause us

to retreat into darkness,

removing painful stimulus

best moderated by defective dimmer switch.

Mine usually arrive at the end of a period

   of shining,

a forced reclusiveness

to recharge

and turn inward again,

perhaps in direct correlation

to the amount

              of shine.

Audrey Howitt copyright/all rights reserved 2014

posted for Poets United: Poetry Pantry


  1. nice...i like the contrast between the shine and retreating into the dark...luckily i dont have them but i have several friends that so ...and they are quite debilitating....

  2. Audrey, I am so very sorry that you have them. Pain in any form, especially chronic is dreadful. You have however, beautifully conjured them here.

  3. I feel lucky to have only had a handful of migraines over the course of my lifetime. I see how often you get them and I feel so bad for you. I wish you were able to get rid of the dammed things and suffer no more.

    1. I think I may be coming out the other end of this cluster of them! Thank you Susan!

  4. an interesting theory indeed. :) as brian pointed out, i like the contrast between shine and retreating into darkness. maybe without it you wouldn't shine as bright.

  5. Interesting theory, Audrey. I wouldn't doubt that you have something figured out there for yourself.

  6. I am not a sufferer of migraines but the contrast theory makes sense...

  7. I love this musing: reclusiveness "in direct correlation to the amount of shine." I definitely relate to this!

  8. My daughter suffers from severe migraines. I will be sharing this with her...make her look at her episodes with fresh eyes. This was so thoughtful, Audrey. We definitely have to recharge after those shining periods.

  9. "a forced reclusiveness

    to recharge

    and turn inward again," …this for me is the best part of living with chronic illness… if one were to choose a best part… sounds strange when I read the words aloud, but I bet you know what I mean.

  10. The need for balance between standing in the 'shine' and retreating into 'reclusiveness." Although I don't experience migraines, I do understand the need to find that ongoing balance. Like the tone you adapt here and your ease with the subject matter. Obviously well explored.


  11. yes darkness soothes and gives comfort....beautifully written

  12. Your narrator's theory also ties the migraine with the stress of public vs. the comfort of private--psychological as well as physical causes, though which comes first is impossible to know. I like the spareness of your words, as if the poem itself cannot wait to let her back into the dark.

  13. migraine is tough... a colleague of mine at work has it and she really suffers... love that you can look at it as a chance to recharge batteries...turn inward... a good thing to pause a bit..

  14. I've never had a migraine, but I've heard they're terrible.


  15. ...how tough it must've been to endure such condition... i think the best way to treat one's pain/disability is to befriend it... smiles...

  16. Wonderful-- you give a sense of the aura but I think theshining here is more tha that---a focus on surfaces contrasted with the turning inward. I ve only had one migraine--it was awful but went with a good story. This is Karin, Manicddaily. Thanks for your kind visits, especially whikeivebeenso low. Much appreciated. Forgive bad typing, on iPad. K.

  17. My mother's would cause her a great sensitivity to light and odor; mine to odor and sound. The least sound would seem to be deafening.


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