Our scars tell our stories

I have been following the story of New York Times writer Dana Jennings journey with cancer and reading him today, I am inspired by his latest reflection on his scars and how they are a road map of his body’s travels.   ”Our scars tell stories. Sometimes they’re stark tales of life-threatening catastrophes, but more often they’re just footnotes to the ordinary but bloody detours that befall us on the roadways of life.”

Although Jennings is writing of his cancer experience, an experience I share, I can’t help thinking how apt that phrase of his – bloody detours that befall us on the roadways of life – is to where I am at right now.  I certainly feel like I have taken a detour off the roadway of life, but it is not a place I had wanted to go.

But now, back to my own road-map of scars,  what Jennings calls “primal tatoos”. I decide to examine them today, working my way up from those long faded but still visible scars from childhood falls, climbing gates and trees, runing headlong and heedlessly, learning to ride a bike, to the raised apendix scar on my tummy, and finally the scars from breast surgery on my right breast. I look at that scar and marvel at the skill of the surgeon as he performed his life-saving work cutting away the cancer from my body. Yes, each scar tells its own story.

But what of those hidden scars that the world cannot see? For it’s not just the scars on our bodies that we carry, we also carry the scars from our grief, our disappointments, those old and not so old wounds and hurts in our hearts.  

And perhaps those invisible scars, the ones we cannot see or touch, but are hidden away in our hearts, are the hardest scars of all to heal.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. tinat
    Aug 07, 2009 @ 17:26:47

    wow what a great piece – i really loved this


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