Friday, April 30, 2010

Fingersposts Of Life

It's a shallow life that doesn't give a person a few scars.

Garrison Keillor
There are good scars and bad scars.

Many years ago I was attempting to get from northern New England back to New York City and my career. I had made it as far as a farm house in upstate New York. I was completely alone. It was the middle of Winter. I had a larder of food, but no heat and no electricity. I had to chop wood to warm myself and cook. One day I was sawing the branches off a fallen tree when the saw slipped and cut deeply into my finger.

I had no phone, no car, no neighbors and no traveled road nearby. There was no way to get to a doctor. So I tightly wrapped up the finger and held on to it for a long time until the bleeding subsided. When I looked at the wound I could see right down to the bone. I kept the wound clean and wrapped up as tightly as I could, For a week or so it meant doing everything one handed. But it eventually began to heal. The bleeding stopped, the pain subsided and new flesh grew over the finger.

When Spring came I got to New York due to an unexpected visit from a relative. I didn't tell her about the finger. Now I have a very faint scar on that finger. It was a good healing, and when I happen to see that scar I remember the incident with the saw one cold gray Winter day when I was trying to survive and get back to where I belonged. It's a good scar.

Scars are for remembrance. From them we can recall the events of our lives: accidents, attacks which we survived, foolish things we did. They can be marks of bravery and survival.

Then there are the bad scars. Those are the scars left on our emotions, the psychological scars. There are regrets for things we did or didn't do, for things we said or didn't say, insults we can't forget, enemies we can't forgive, deep long lasting scars of failure and rejection. And the worst kind, scars from wounds we haven't felt yet, caused by ignorance, arrogance, egotism, selfishness and lack of respect for those around us who deserved it.

Years ago I knew a producer whose entire life had been influenced and paid for by his very wealthy parents, including his college education and his position in the business world. This unfortunate fellow had no sense whatsoever of an ethical standard. He simply didn't have one. He remarked to me one day that he had no sinister side, and he really believed it. But he would lie, steal other people's ideas, interfere with their work, give orders that made no sense and issue insults that he thought were humorous.

He wrote a book about a subject of which he wasn't anywhere near to being an authority. Because of his position and his parents' influence it was published, of course, It got terrible reviews and no one read it. That didn't bather him. Everything he did was done with a smile and a sense of warm friendliness and comradeship toward everyone around him. His sense of self-importance was so grand that he was simply totally unaware of himself.

If he lives and wakes up he may begin to realize how much harm he has caused other people. He may come in contact with his sinister side. If he faces up to himself in an unjustifying manner and truly begins to regret his actions he may uncover the huge number of wounds he has caused himself. If he knows how many ways he has whipped, lacerated and burned his own character by his actions and sets about healing himself with repentance and a change of behavior he will carry scars for the rest of his life. And they will help to make him a better man.

When I read in the news about someone who is "scarred for life" my reaction is "So what!" We are all scarred for life to one degree or another and thank heaven we are. My scars are my business. They are no one else's. But I carry them proudly because they remind me of who I was.

DB= The Vagabond
(This is not a contest.)

In your opinion what is the most amazing thing that could happen during this decade? Make it as outrageous as you want but keep it within the realm of what you consider a possibility.

Only 7 responses so far.

Answers will be published the first day of Summer.

DB - The Vagabond


Mr.Mischief said...

I would be wary of someone with no scars in their life..They surely have never really truly lived.

Nance said...

I've spent a forty year career helping people gain self-awareness. And, yet, I fear causing pain unknowingly and unintentionally. It happens no matter how self-aware we are. The real key, for me, is to be aware and sensitive to The Other...that's when I am less likely to harm. Maybe we have the scars caused by injury inflicted on us and stigmata from the injuries we've caused when we are insufficiently of others.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I have both types of scars. Everything in perspective.

Indigo said...

I'm of the agreement we take our lumps in order to have lived fully I most assuredly have. I have to agree with Nance to, sometimes the scars are emotional and we never know when we've given our share. (Hugs)Indigo