Show your scar, tell your story
by Wayne Wood
A dermatologist once told me that a person’s skin is a diary of his or her life.
If you smoke, he said, your skin will show it.
If you work outside, as a farmer or construction worker, or work inside with your hands as a carpenter, your skin will show it.
 And if you live very long, you will have scars, and every scar is
a story.

Two scars; two stories
I’ve got a crescent-moon shaped scar on my left knee. I got it when I was 10 or 11 years old, playing one afternoon at Scott Bowers’ house, which was on Maple Drive across the street from my house.
I was running down the side of his house and somehow fell into a pile of clinkers (sometimes called cinders), jagged byproducts of coal burning. Scott’s house, like most in the neighborhood, was heated with a coal furnace, and I guess that when his mom or dad cleaned out the ashes and clinkers, they had dumped them along the side yard.
However they got there, they were there in a pile, and I hit the pile with such force that a clinker ripped through my pants leg and essentially punched a nickel-sized hole in my knee, just to the right of the kneecap.
An emergency trip to the doctor’s followed, as did stitches. And as did the scar, which will always be a part of the skin in which I live.
So will another scar, on my side, caused by, of all things, an exploding Pepsi bottle. I picked up a glass bottle of Pepsi in a grocery store when I was, I guess, 14 or 15, and it just blew up. Apparently a weak spot in the glass gave way under the pressure of the carbonation, and jagged fragments flew out every which way, including one that lodged in my side. No stitches this time, but a scar and a story anyway.

Your turn
So what about you? What about the scars and marks on your body—and the stories that go with them?
Go to the House Organ Web site and click on the Body Stories button, and write about your skin and the stories that go with it: the bike rides gone bad, the Caesarean scar from when your daughter or son entered the world, any story at all. You can even send along a picture, if you like.
Later this year we plan to publish a health and fitness issue built around the theme “Stories of the Body,” and your story may be one of those included.
Don’t think that your story isn’t dramatic or interesting enough—hey, did you read the ones I wrote above?—just tell it.
We all have something to learn from the wisdom of our bodies, and the stories represented on our skin.

To see Watching the Wheels video version click hereClick_Here.gif
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