Scars Like Constellations

That’s an excellent line (or something similar to the correct verse – it just struck me) and I know it’s from one of the nearly 1000 songs that shuffle through on my iPod, bit for the life of I can’t think of which one at this time.  Later…..I’ll find it later….
At the very least, the line came mind this morning while I was glancing at my legs.  We are snowed in for another day here in the Tug Valley, and while I prepare myself – mentally- for shoveling my packed in driveway, I’ve been watching House of Cards on Netflix (it’s really good by the way- check it out!).  Now, what does this have to do with scars and constellations? Oh! Locksley! The band is Locksley and the song is Days of Youth – see, I knew it would come to me!

I freely admit, that when sitting alone, I sit more like a contortionist than a 32 (might as well round up here) middle school art teacher should- at least in my imagination I am unique in this regard (probably not as much as I think). Right leg bent with the foot on the couch, left leg turned with foot to the right and crossing bent right leg…..the shape I end up with looks something similar to a swift attempt at drawing a star. So, I’m sitting, watching a new show, trying to keep my mind from running wild with questions of my validity as a teacher- another story for another day- when I noticed one of the many scars I’d forgotten about on my left knee.

I was an athlete way back when.  I played boy’s basketball until I was old enough to play on the girl’s team. I played baseball every summer with my brother and our friends (Varney A’s woot!).  I ran, rode bikes, fell down hillsides, all in all I was active as a child and made my fair share of poor decisions when the safety of my body was in question- like all children do.
As I got older, I fell running after boys, scraped knees chasing friends pulling away and changing, I tripped over shoelaces looking around for where I should go and what I should do.  More scars were made, but now they weren’t all visible.
Time passes and life moves on. Wounds heal, scar tissue forms, scar tissue tears back open, it heals again- and that is life.  Sometimes it takes more time than we are willing to allow those things to heal – I am the worst for pulling off scabs before the are ready – figuratively and literately.   Then, when it’s all over and the wound is healed, all that is left is the mythology of what was: the constellation in whole.

Sorry for the long rant on scars. Sitting here, with my mind running- like it does- I was struck by just how many scars, large and dark, thin and bright, visible and not, I have – we all have – and how amazing it really is for those of us who can look at them, grow, learn, and move forward.  What’s even more spectacular is that despite the warnings, the evidence that hurt happens and leaves its mark, that I am willing to do it all- every bit of it- again.  Because the scars aren’t just about the hurt. They are about the stolen second base in a championship game, the laughter with friends after sledding down a hill covered with snow packed so tight it’s really a trail of ice. They are about the kiss stolen on the bleachers while carrying band equipment (and the wall you weren’t paying attention to). They are about the dinner, movie, and hug given when everything is gone – lost to fire.  They are about the slip on the stairs when you are leaving the best party, with the greatest friends.

Scars are so much more than the results of hurt. I hope you remember that. They are your personal mythos- your very own constellations- where the image may not be visible to everyone that glances, but if you squint your eyes and tilt your head just so….you can see the form you want, the story you choose.

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