Scars. Actual ones (not the type discussed in Lifetime movies) – we all have them. It’s interesting to me that I can be covered in scars, but can go years without noticing them. I have two on my left arm and one on the palm of my left hand, both from the same incident, that I noticed the other night. They’re right there, big and obvious. They’ve been with me since I was three-years-old and living in Barstow, California. I remember the event semi-vividly. My mom handed me an enormous glass jar and sent me what felt like leagues (but was probably only a couple hundred feet) away to collect water from a water fountain. Now that I have children, I recognize what an error in judgment this was on my mom’s part – sending a three year old with a jar bigger than her torso tottering off by herself to collect water. But this was the late 70s. My mom also let me stand up in the back seat of our car and she smoked in the grocery store while selecting vegetables, so I’ll give her a pass. You can see where this is going. I got to the water fountain, tripped, and fell chest-forward onto the concrete, smashing the jar against me and cutting my left arm and hand in the process. I probably could’ve used stitches, but I don’t recall being taken to the doctor. As a matter of fact, if my ever-faulty memory serves (which it rarely does), I believe we kept on with our day at the park.
So, the other night, I was mindlessly fingering a bracelet I was wearing on my left arm, and I noticed my scars. They surprised me a little, to be honest with you – kind of like running into an old friend while out for a casual walk. I realized that it had been several years since I’d noticed these specific scars – just like I often forget about the tattoos on my back or the freckles on my face until someone mentions them. It’s like the way art hung on the wall of your family home becomes so much background clutter after a while. I find it intriguing – the things we neglect to notice after they cease being relevant.
And you? What do you forget to notice? What takes you by surprise?