Wary of Ovens

Have been contemplating a scar on my arm that I managed to go 50 years without. It happened in an instant a couple of years ago. Almost unnoticeable at the time as I brushed against the oven rack while removing a casserole. Increasingly painful and raw as time went on until it “healed.”

Now I am marked for the rest of my life, and the memory of that moment will never leave. It represents the deeper burns of this year’s losses, heartaches, deaths, and betrayals. I want to explain them away. To try to make them fit like mosaic pieces into life’s bigger picture and call them art. But the pieces don’t fit. They’re not part of the natural order of things that I can call good, even if good eventually comes out of them.

There’s no shortcut through the long and winding valley of the shadow. Healing eventually comes, in its own time, in the form of muted, slightly numb, highly visible scars that will always remind me to be a little more wary of ovens.

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