That’s Gonna Leave a Mark

The things we choose to carry on our Hero’s Journey can say more about us than any story we’ll tell.

[This reminds me – if you’ve never read Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried,” get it on your to-read list now.]

I’ve written about what you should deliberately pack for your Hero’s Journey, and the value of toting a talisman.  How about what you didn’t choose:  those scars and marks on your body?

As the songwriter, John Reznik said, “ …scars are souvenirs you never lose.”   I’ll take an inventory: keloid burn scar on my right shoulder from steam iron water, surgery scar on a breast to remove a necrotic lump, cut scars on my knee from a car accident, stitch scaring on my hand after I slipped on wet lava near Kilauea on Hawai’i, indentation on my chin where a mole was removed.  I just realized all my scars on the right side of my body.  Hmmmm.

And these are just the skin surface scars. Several of my bones would show fracture scars, too.

I don’t feel that I’ve been extraordinarily reckless.  This level of scarring feels to me like a normal 66-year old, well-traveled body.  That’s part of the story the scars tell, that I am well traveled,, active, and sometimes klutzy.

I also have a mark on my hand where my palm lines form a star. I assume it has been there since birth, but I noticed it only a few years ago.  I was reading “Ruby” by Cynthia Bond and a character was noted for having the same mark (the mystic star).  Beliefs notwithstanding, I read that line in the story, then looked over at my own hand and saw the mark.  Noticing the mark for the first time came at a time I was just beginning my shamanic journey.  Only I would notice it, as lines on your palm are not obvious without specifically looking closely.  It’s not like they’re Harry Potter’s lightning scar! I read it as a message my body had been waiting for me to read.

What are your scars? How do they reflect your Hero’s Journey?

How about marks like moles, stains, lines, etc.?  What do they mean to you?  What message does your body tell you?

Photo by Michelle Leman from Pexels

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