Monday, March 15, 2010

My Scars

"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”

Kahlil Gibran

I was out in the garden yesterday, attacking the weeds. It was a pretty spring day, a great day to be outdoors.
Armed with a tool or two and special weed-gripping gloves, I worked hard. I lost track of how nice the day was in my focus on the weeds.
I came in and wrote this poem:


Why do the roots
descend so deep?
They grip the soil fanatically
hell-bent on survival
while the precious flowers
press their roots
to the earth like polite guests.
Weeds will release
their crowns but not their guts
the sacrifice a lizard makes
in giving up its tail
So resolute a thing inspires
not respect or awe
but fiercer dedication
to their eradication
foul fiends

Here’s what I noticed about the weeds, a variety of dandelion in particular: The more often in the past I had tried to rip it from the ground, the thicker and stronger was its root system today. I’m not kidding; there were dandelions out there that I have been fighting for years, and they are stronger than ever, because they have suffered at my hands.
This time I went after them with my long pointy dandelion digger. We’ll see how that works.
Gibran with this quote makes me fear that they’ll just grow more massive characters.

I like to think there’s an up-side to adversity. I like to think that all people in recovery are stronger souls because of the suffering, that survivors of all kinds of trouble have greater character than the ones who’ve never faced pain.

For decades I thought the scars I bore marked me as messed up for life. Only in the past few years have I realized, thanks to great help, that I can wear my scars with courage and dignity. I didn’t get them because I was bad but because innocent people get hurt like anyone else.

I think the roots of survivors grow deep. What do you think?


Kim A. said...

I envy you being able to get out already and get busy with tending the plants. I have to wait until the front marsh becomes a front yard again. I have to admire our variety of weeds since they are the only thing that has kept the front yard from washing away!


Scott said...

Somewhere in our Big Book it tells me that my dark and difficult past will someday become one of my greatest assets. I think this speaks to your sentiment about scars and character. I am with you!

Shadow said...

adversity makes you stronger, simple as that.

Susan said...

My roots go deep as well. You need that in order to survive. I love the piece and the message behind it.

Just Be Real/God Whispers In The Wind said...

EO thank you for sharing.

Collette said...

I believe that as survivors in recovery, our pain has run deep & that gives us great strength. We have survived what we have been through, we keep surviving in our everyday lives & we will continue to survive to give strength to others as we grow. (((HUGS)))

the walking man said...

Many survivors grow broad and shallow roots as for me I will like the weed send a single large on down and dare anyone to dig deep enough to find it's end.

Brian Miller said...

pulling weeds out can be rather painful as well...and damage the crops...

Enchanted Oak said...

There is even an up-side to weeds! Thank you for the reminder. And it's good to see the Walking Man up and around.

Anonymous said...

The survivor roots can last an eternity, and sometimes passed to future generations.


Susan said...

I think I really like this post =)
I'm learning to live with my scars too.
And when I see the scars of others, I recognize we're part of the same Clan.
Some things can only be learned the hard way... the way that leaves reminders.

evalinn said...

Good thoughts, and it sounds so nice to have spent the day outdoors!

sarah said...

what an amazing post....and I love what you wrote, I can wear my scars with courage and dignity. Beautifully said Chris.... Stay strong. YOu shine. Sarah

TechnoBabe said...

Weeds come into my life here and there and if I am not paying attention they would get deep roots and make it harder to get rid of them. I have to be diligent in what I allow in my life.

Syd said...

I know that I am a strong person. I have quite a few scars on my heart and psyche. But I am still here. Still optimistic, still hopeful. I guess that my roots do grow deep.

Anonymous said...

Whatever doesn't kill us, make us stronger. True in weeds, true in recovery!

VICKI IN AZ said...

Beautifully put. Thank you for sharing this insight. I love the poem.

Recently I heard someone share that they heard those famous words "The earth shall be cursed for thy sake...bringing forth thistles and weeds (and all that stuff).. by the sweat of thy brow shall thou eat bread all the days of thy life." You know, big paraphrase there. This friend had heard it as a blessing, as in WE ARE blessed with these afflictions. I was really moved by this and now you have written this beautiful heartfelt post.

Thank you for sharing. I shall think of you fondly as I go out to pull my weeds today. ♥

Anonymous said...

I know this is off the wall, but here it goes:

I work in skin care, with aestheticians and an electrologist. It's always thought that waxing (pulling hair out by the root) will cause it to grow in more sparse. Not so.

Yanking something out by the root forces a flow of blood to the root system that then strengthens the root and makes the hair (weed) more resistant.

OMG, why did I just write this?

Anyway, I love the poem, particularly this part:

"to the earth like polite guests.
Weeds will release
their crowns but not their guts
the sacrifice a lizard makes
in giving up its tail"

Poetikat said...

This has a real Shakespearean quality to me. Thinking "Hamlet" crossed with "Macbeth" and I LIKE it!


Parsley said...

Love this post. I came over after reading your comment on Marla's blog. Liked the strength in what you said there and here.

Judy Sheldon-Walker said...

You are absolutely right, good people do get scarred. We should wear them as badges of honor.

But pulling dandelion? Let them get fat and eat them. They are so much healthier for you than even spinach. I published an article on their health benefits at Bukisa. You would be amazed.

Take care & God bless!

lakeviewer said...

Heck, YES!

Matty said...

You sound like my wife. She likes to toil in the flower beds outside too. Down on her hands and knees with a hand tool, digging, scraping, turning soil over, planting.....and thinking. When she's outside in her element, I know later on I'm going to hear a new idea or thought from her. I also think you share the same "roots" with her.

As for the weed roots in my lawn, it's spray, spray, spray.

amy said...

I think you're absolutely right...roots of survivors grow deep and strong. They also provide growth that shelters and nourishes others.

Love the quote you shared and especially your words and poem... this entry really touched my heart today.

I am glad you are now wearing those scars with dignity and courage..

God Bless you -