That’s going to leave a mark

Have you ever watched someone headed for disaster? They trip, stumble or bang their thumb with a hammer and you think, “that’s definitely going to leave a mark”.

Much like my favorite pots and baking pans, if you’ve spent any length of time on this earth, you, like me, have some mars and scars. You’re no longer factory perfect. You have “character”!

I have a beautiful set of Chantal pots in cobalt blue. About 10 years ago, I was having a truly terrible day – I mean really, really dark. It was one of my worst ever. My daughter and her then boyfriend arrived and she sat and talked with me for a while. We opened a bottle of wine and this young man set to work making the biggest bowl of guacamole I have ever seen in a non-commercial setting. My daughters and I sat in the kitchen feasting on it while he cooked for us and, slowly, I was starting to feel a bit better. He burned something on the bottom of one of the pretty enamel saucepans and I watched him use the point of a Laguiole steak knife to scrape it off. I said nothing. To this day, there is a star pattern gouged into the beautiful blue bottom of the pot, but it’s okay. It makes me remember. I look at the scar and remember to hold on, no matter what. Things eventually do get better and homemade guac is healing.

I have cutting boards with burns that remind me of huge, chaotic holiday dinners full of storytelling and raucous laughter. There are baking sheets, dented and stained that Tante Anna used to bake us countless apple everything after her husband, Hans, died and she found herself alone. Those pans mean so much more to me than any brand new, shiny, perfect set ever could. I feel her hands in every bump and divot.

We’re all a bit battered and scarred but like my treasured cookware, maybe it means somehow we’re more substantial. We’ve weathered storms and are still here; our wounds, evidence that we’re actually living – taking chances.

Like a tattoo, some of the scars of living show for all the world to see – crow’s feet from smiling, a scar from a beloved cat who lost patience with us, an imperfect pinky finger from one of a million fights in childhood with my brother, silvery stretch marks from pregnancy or the strange, plum-sized pink sphere that mysteriously appeared on my chest when he and I first became an item. He’s been gone for close to a year now, but the stain on my skin (appropriately, over my heart) remains. I’m on my third different prescription cream and (mirroring what’s going on inside), it’s faded a little but it’s still there. Will it be there forever – a reminder of how much I felt and how hard I fell? Or will it finally disappear when my heart finds love again?

A tattoo of a lover’s name can be erased with enough money and the stinging zap of a laser but, although no longer visible, is the mark ever really gone?

I scoop yogurt from it’s container with a rubber scraper I’ve had for almost two decades and notice the one ragged edge where my younger daughter nibbled on it with her little puppy toddler teeth, enjoying the squishy feel of it, and I smile.

Some scars are remnants of pain. Some are lessons learned and some are the happy consequence of passionate, joyful times. They linger on as testament of our trials, a history of our journey. How about yours?




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