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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Scars and Mysteries

This is Steven Petrick posting.

Like most people, I have over the years collected many scars. Most tell stories as reminders of various incidents of my life, as do the scars of most people.

The small scar above my right eye tells a tale of a future almost lost. A fall on a lawn sprinkler that came within a half inch of destroying my right eye while I was yet a child. Without that eye, my whole life would have been very different from that point. Joining the Army (or any military organization) would have been closed to me from that point. That would probably have affected my reading habits (I read history and military type science fiction as part of becoming knowledgeable about things military, tactics and stratagems and such). Without my right eye, would I have been as aggressive my day to day play which would have had long term impacts on my health. Would my peers in school or day to day life have acted towards me in ways that might have changed my personality?

That scar reminds me of how a little incident can have life-altering implications.

On the back of my left hand is a small scar about a half-inch long immediately above the knuckle of my left Pinky (as in slashing right across it). That scar serves to remind me that I survived an attack by knife-wielding opponent who meant to do me serious harm. I no longer remember what it felt like to have my life in peril from such an assault, but the scar reminds me that it happened, and that I did survive.

Scars on my kneecaps, a reminder of my worst motorcycle accident. A scar on the inside of my right ankle, all that reminds me of the car accident that came close to leaving me an orphan. Another scar near that one, a curious incident with a hatchet. One behind my right ear . . . well there are several others with stories that can be told.

But there are also scars that have no memory attached to them. There is a small scar more than an inch long between one of my shoulders and my chest. It is there, but I have no memory of how I got it. Another scar I encountered one day is on the outside of my left ankle. It is more than an inch long running along the upper edge of the ankle bone, and again there is no memory associated with it, I simply noticed it one day, and even then it was obviously long ago healed. Those are mysteries.

Some of these scars come with their own emotional content, and of course there are other scars in my life that are purely emotional, leaving no blemish on my skin to show their existence.

Every scar, though, should have a story, and some of my visible ones do not.