Monday, May 17, 2010


I have been working on a piece on scars and tattoosfor a while but it isn’t coming along. I'm stuck in the "it has to be perfect before sharing" place.

My experience since starting this blog has been similar. I feel crippled (pun intended!) to create posts unless I have whittled and edited them to some kind of non-existent perfection. In my head I know that this defeats the idea of a blog, but still the idea has caused me to remain mute here in this space.

And then I read this poem, by Lucille Clifton that really captured my emotions around these lines on my body and also about how I want to share my experience with others.


we will learn

to live together.

i will call you

ribbon of hunger

and desire

empty pocket flap

edge of before and after

and you

what will you call me?

woman I ride

who cannot throw me

and I will not fall off.

I realize that in many ways, this is what my scars represent, they are the lines of my story. They are not flaws on my body, but rather a map of where I have been, and where I hope to be going. The challenges and roadblocks, opportunities and life experiences that have shaped who I am, are the very fabric of the scars I wear, both physically and spiritually.

So here’s the physical story from the top to the bottom:

  • Each breast is partially outlined in the shape of an Eye of Horus. I believe this ancient Egyptian symbol of protection is watching over my wellbeing and future health.
  • Under each arm, two red, raised, dots from the drains that ran from my body after each breast surgery. These smallest of scars healed the worst.
  • A flaming rainbow over my bellybutton (which was not the bellybutton I started out with).
  • A large smile from hip to hip where my stomach used to be.
  • A sad face on my thumb from where my ski crashed into me during my skiing accident.
  • And the latest and largest scar that I have, a hook shaped scar along my entire lower right leg where the metal plate and 15 screws were placed to hold my bones together.

So now, use the comment space to tell me about your scars...