I seem to have the habit of collecting scars. My stint in the hospital has left me with two scars on my neck where they had attached the dialysis machine. [sarcasm]Fun times! I love getting stabbed in the neck twice! [/sarcasm] The cool part is that they kinda look like I’ve been bitten by a vampire, so I have an instant costume for Halloween.
These scars are added to the motley collection of scars I have around my body. When I was five years old, I pretended to be Superman and I jumped off a double decker bed. I slammed my head on a table and I was knocked unconscious. When I came to, I woke up to half of my face covered in blood and our maid screaming in fear. To close the wound, it took seven stitches on my left eyebrow and I have a scar there to remind me of my short lived stint as a superhero.
I have a scar on the back of my head I got from hitting a faucet. On my left knee is a scar I got when I skinned it playing tag. My right middle finger has a scar from getting stuck while a car door slammed on it. I am a walking accident waiting to happen.
There are also other scars which people cannot see. My mind and heart has been wounded far too many times to leave unscathed. They are like battlefields with unclear objectives and combatants, the ammunition and artillery supplied by my own emotions and imagination. These scars reveal themselves not on my body, but in the things I create, manifesting itself in the things I write about.
Scars are usually ugly things, breaking symmetry and marring surfaces. Like cracks in our walls, they feel like they don’t belong, persona non-grata features of ourselves. They also become part of ourselves, something which cannot be erased or removed, their permanence an annoyance.
However, viewed from a different light, our scars form something else. They become our identifying marks. They are the bearers of our stories, our scars becoming letters and pages in our biographies. Ugly as they are, they become meaningful because of the memories we attach to them.
Soldiers wear scars, both bodily and emotional ones, that tell of their bravery in battle and of the sacrifices they endured. Lovers scar each other in innumerable ways, blood and tears intermingling in the dance of love itself. Mothers become scarred in the process of childbirth, their scars become evidences of their participation in the great mystery of life itself.
Our scars are our greatest storytellers, revealing fundamental truths about ourselves. They form maps to our souls, revealing who we truly are, wounded beings in the constant process of recuperation and healing.