After my recent surgery I spent a week in a cast, wondering what my scar was going to look like. I didn’t look while the procedure was in progress. I’d have passed out cold.
I needn’t have worried, because upon removing the cast I discovered the incision was less than a half inch long, and right where my skin naturally creases, so I suspect that eventually no one will even notice it but me. More shocking was the huge green bruise on my wrist and palm, but that will fade with time.
I actually love scars. On other people. Scars usually come with really interesting stories. They are evidence of a life well-lived. They make people seem more human, somehow.
I remember sitting in a mall as a teenager, and an absolutely mind-blowingly handsome guy walked by. I was in awe. And then he turned his head, and the entire other side of his face was severely, irretrievably burned. It brought tears to my eyes. Not because of the dreadful sight, or what the poor man had obviously been through, but because he’ll probably go through his life never knowing how gorgeous he is. That broke my heart. If I had been older and more confident, I might have told him so. I wish I had.
I was talking to a friend the other day about scars. He mentioned that we have a word for the hardening, toughening of skin. Scarring. But we don’t have a word for the softening, the opening up, the making more vulnerable.
“Yes we do,” I said. “Healing.”