Friday, March 4, 2016


I've got a lot of them.

The oldest one has shrunk to a dot over my left eyebrow. I was six or so and playing baseball in my uncle Russel's yard with much older cousins. I slid head first into home plate and hit my head on the side of the sidewalk. Blood everywhere (head wounds are the worst!), carried by a cousin, a long ride in my mother's arm to a doctor 15 miles away, some stitches and a ride home, still in my mother's arms. Repercussions to cousins for sure for letting 'little Jimmie' get hurt.

Scars, it seems to me, are like the rings on a tree stump. Scars tell us something about how life has gone over time. Scars have, literally, marked the passage of life.

I'm not sure I can label them all. I have so many.

On my left arm: two ten inch scars from where I broke the two bones in 10 places and had them replaced or attached to titanium rods--the longest rods the surgeon had ever put in an arm. He was proud. I was just glad I broke the bones so badly that they were repaired two days later. No cast, just Physical Therapy. That was in 2008 or so when I hit a guard rail on an icy exit and the air bag broke my arm. If you break a bone, do it up right so it gets fixed fast....

Further up my arm, barely visible except no hair grows there, is when as a child a bat in my step-grandmother's house startled me and caused me to fall against a red hot pot belly stove on a cold winter night in Waiteville, WV. The scar,like the one over my eyebrow, has diminished over the decades, but I can still smell the burned skin and still remember the night in a feather bed with salve soaked rags wrapped around my arm.

My stomach is a topical map of scars--appendectomy on the Eve of the Millennium and prostrate cancer surgery in 2005. (Yes, I am a cancer survivor. Praise the Lord....)

On my right index finger--a 9 stitch scar from pulling open a drawer on Thanksgiving several years ago and having the glass knob break and slice open my finger. Mimi and our friend John and I went to get it sewed up while Tim and Bern and our friend Hanne tried to keep dinner eatable! Mimi sent Tim photos from her Smart Phone of the minor surgery. Hopefully long ago erased!

Cut my left thumb open after that. No sign of the stitches--4, I think, done in an urgent care office just down the road.

And my eyes--scars on both irises from over wearing contacts that should have been replaced. I never wore contacts again, but the pain came before the permanent damage (not the way it usually happens) so my vision is fine but I have these intriguing scars on my eyes that many people notice and find in some strange way, attractive.

Your scars are 'who you are'. Think about that. Ponder it. List your scars--relive the moments that caused them. Ponder how that shifted your life. Wonder who you would have been without your scars. Would that have been better or worse?

(Oh, I just remembered, I had bloodless surgery to remove a cyst on my left elbow years ago. I can't find the scar, but it's there, if only in my mind.)

We are our scars.

What a thought.

Ponder that, see where it leads you--and don't stop with the ones we can 'see'. There are other scars, not visible, to our hearts and souls and minds.

Those too have altered and shifted and changed and transformed and made us who we are now.

Scars are too profound to ignor.

Ponder your scars....It will help make you more whole, ironically....

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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.