Because a life unexamined is lived without intention.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
I burned myself last week. I've had a lot on my mind lately and gazing out the kitchen window, I got a bit lost watching the leaves fall like amber snow upon the lawn. There is something slightly bewitching about the sizzle of a roast; searing before it will be nestled into the pot, draped with onions and herbs, and left immersed in broth to simmer. Something snapped me out of my reverie and turning I reached for the metal tongs now left for long minutes in the flame...
Two inches of the flesh on my palm--the kind of burn that you almost hear before you feel. I must of made a sound as my son was quickly in the doorway. I stood quietly with my hand submerged in the dishtub. "Are you alright, mum?" he asked.
I smiled, "I will be."
For that is the secret, isn't it. No matter how deep the pain, how unbearable it seems as it scrapes and tears and breaks our bodies, our dreams....our souls. No matter the wound, there is the balm of time. The bandage of memory, the antiseptic of grace.
Funny how the physical pain fades so much more quickly than that of the heart. I've come to possess such a tolerance for corporeal injury as to constantly wear a smattering of bruises I've no idea how were acquired, scrapes and cuts that I'm amazed to discover when pointed out by the boys. These are merely the companions to a life of labor; refinishing furniture, installing floors, sanding ceilings precariously perched atop a ladder I'm certain holds a personal dislike of me. And then there is the treacherous land of the kitchen--knives and fire do not mix well with hurry and distraction.
I didn't want to look at my hand. To see it somehow makes it hurt more, doesn't it? Kind of like mulling over an insult or argument. I sprayed on the Bactine (I believe we own four bottles of this magic mist--even keep one in the car...this probably says something about our family), covered it with gauze, and returned to finish getting dinner started. Oh, how it burned. Seemed about to ignite the bandage, did it rage so. I bit my lip...tears in my eyes, though perhaps it was due to the onions I sliced.
Life goes on.
There would be hungry children lingering about in three hours and there was still potatoes to mash and laundry to fold and floors to sweep and.....
That second hand ticks....and the clock turns.
I wish there was a Bactine for the heart. Sometimes a single sentence uttered in anger lingers so long as to tattoo itself on the walls of my mind. I wish I was better at dismissing, banishing these things to the woods where they would be lost amongst the ferns and trees, so much mulch.
Then again, if I were, perhaps I wouldn't be as careful at guarding my own tongue. I am conscientious to an extreme, painstakingly so, of the agony unscrupulous words can induce. We all must live with the tragedy we cause....some learn from the past, some do not. I have made mistakes I care never to repeat. This tapestry of life is woven of a million threads.
We choose the colors.
It's raining today. The green of summer is fading, relinquishing life to give birth again in spring. As I type I can feel the pull of the new skin on my hand. The damaged tissue cracked and peeled, now replaced by soft pink flesh. Unlined still, its tenderness is a constant reminder for me. Not only to be more prudent where I choose to daydream, but that I am stronger than I sometimes feel. That healing is innate as much as of will....that new flesh, new hopes, new mornings await.