Scars are remainders of things that hurt us in the past. Some are physical, some are mental. They are meant to remind us not to do the same things that left them in the first place. But they are also reminders of the fact that we walked through the fire and lived — even though it marked us.
And as with all things, scars fade with time. They begin raw and painful but our bodies are pretty darned good at repairing themselves (for the most part). Sure we’re not as good as new, but that’s the purpose of scars. “Look at what happened the last time I tried this thing. Maybe I should rethink that.” Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it and all that.
I have all kinds of scars that have faded to next to nothing on my body. Thin, silvery lines and blobs that show up when the weather is cold or when I’m stressed. I have some scars that refuse to heal properly, and there’s a bit of scar tissue where my gall bladder used to be that’s giving me no end of trouble (at least that’s what my doctors keep telling me is the problem). They are the roadmap of my life. If I look really hard I could show y’all the scar where I cut the tip of my finger off, and where I cut the tip of my thumb off, and the crescent shape that shows where I nearly severed this other finger when a glass bowl shattered in my hand. On a cold day, you can see where I burned my leg on a hot motorcycle muffler, and here and there are other, little scars with their own trivial stories. Veterans compare war wounds not to brag about what they did in the war but to marvel that they made it out alive.
My life hasn’t been all that traumatic (I think), but it’s been… interesting. And I have the scars to prove it — kinda. They just don’t show anymore because I don’t live in the past. Sometimes when I see a scar (there’s one one the back of my hand I just now noticed), I wonder where it came from because I have no idea how it got there. See? sometimes the reminders aren’t all that great to begin with. I hope I’m not doomed to repeat something awful. Probably not. It’s probably just a love scratch from the feline furbaby. He’s not much for cuddling, but he does scratch now and again.
But seriously. I don’t know anyone who’s made it through life unscathed. And if they did, I wonder how they ever made it as far as I have without ever breaking the envelope of their skin. Because even a pimple will leave a scar for a little while. Scars serve their purpose. Medically, they’re part of the healing process. Seriously, without them our skin wouldn’t seal itself together again and we’d just keep bleeding. So they are necessary, even if they aren’t always ascetically pleasing. But having scars shouldn’t be depressing reminders that we failed somehow in life. No, they are reminders that we went through something in the past and walked out of it alive… marked, but alive. And dammit, I will take a scar over death any day of the week.