I’ve always been fascinated by scars. Not the scar itself necessarily but the process of scarification, the relationship between the scar and the wound. The wound is covered but not made impervious – the softness, the hurt, still lies underneath.
This fascination is probably why I don’t feel self-conscious about mine. Not that I have any disfiguring ones so I suppose it’s infinitely easier for me to be comfortable with them. There are some wounds I have that I can’t forget. Even when they become near imperceptible. I know exactly where they are and often run my fingers over them to awaken their memories. Most of them are from my childhood so this always gives me access to parts of my brain that would normally remain dormant.
My childhood was rich and full of vivid somato-sensory experiences. I was constantly feeding on information (avid reader and TV watcher), interacting with people from diverse backgrounds and engaging in a wide range of activities all in the highly dynamic and vibrant environment of West Africa. Accessing those roots helps me centre myself – learning takes you in so many different directions, it’s nice to have something to anchor yourself to, a point of reference you can jump off from. My childhood is my cliff, not my childhood self but what that self was surrounded by, felt, and came to understand of the world – the knowledge not the individual, if one could separate the two.
I think it’s useful to regularly inject some of the carefree insatiably curious quasi-innocent nature of that perspective into my current thought process. I can’t exactly stop looking but I don’t want to be weighed down by the truths I want to uncover either.