Soft Edges and Scars – May 2014

The ways we meet each other, the ways our essences interact, is deeply informed by experiences of hurt or their absence.

Pain forms a wound. We cover it up, first, smooth it over, hide it with make-up, a hard, plastic cast to make it look like it never happened. When we’re in this stage, we bounce off of others; they can get close, but the band-aid like bubble-wrap casing keeps them away, even the softest uninjured ones.

Underneath this casing, we form a scar. Scars are inherently imperfect, a wonderful manifestation of the body’s memory – we, like our bodies, will never forget or lose the things that caused us pain. Once our scars form, we are faced with a choice: share them, or continue to hide them. Either way, their uneven surfaces will catch the essences of others, latch into their scars, pull threads out of the sleeves of their coats: draw strangers eyes from the floor to our own.

This can happen, too, when we are first wounded, though it is more painful and takes more courage: only the softest of the uninjured can touch open wounds: they are like cotton, catching the edge of the hurt, dabbing gently to still the bleeding and ease the harshness, the aloneness. They listen.

Sometimes, this is because they have their own hurts that have become part of their essence, a ripple just beneath the surface that is neither scar nor imperfection, just a part of who they are, something that shaped them and was absorbed on all facets. They are whole.

And then there are the ones who never take the plastic off of their perfection or refuse to look at their wounds at all. These are all smooth edges, round and hard and even beautiful, marbles and polished stone, and plastic and glass with smoke beneath the surface: we can not see through their defenses, and without edges to snag, they can not drag us out of our pain into theirs by accident or intent.

Soft edges and scars- these are the fabric whose stitches are what form us. Otherwise, we are just round things floating around the universe, forever bouncing off and never flowing in.

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