Nikki wrote me about my last blog post. She said she was pondering the scar conversation we had, and about how scars point to some other things:
She said, isn’t it amazing how the autonomic nervous system does things like breathing, creating white blood cells to fight infection, starting self-healing processes immediately upon being wounded. We don’t have to think about these processes or fill out forms to get them done. Or even will it.
Nikki reminded me of the conversation we had with Doug and Andrea, who manufacture our protein powder in San Diego. We’d just had lunch with them. Doug was telling us how, as a nutrition aficionado, he points out to all his friends and co-workers that what they’re eating is going to kill them. I told him that I haven’t ever commented on what somebody is eating—and gave him some heck: “So have you been wondering why you eat alone a lot?”
We soapboxed, preached to the choir, talked about our astonishment not that people die of heart disease or cancer—but that most of us are still walking around at all. Nikki said: how marvelous the coping mechanism is of the body! We fuel it with crap, we don’t give it enough rest, we subject it to stress and pollution, alcohol, and . . . it copes. It extracts what it can use, it filters the bad stuff, it shifts energy to areas of immediate need, and just. keeps. going.
What a gift it is to interface with the world in such a sophisticated organism, Nikki says to me. I agree. Sometimes I’m on my knees with awe, that God keeps letting us do this.
And isn’t it cool, she says, the way that scars heal from injury with skin that is tougher. We won’t get hair or sweat glands on a scar, but that place of thickened skin is also less susceptible to re-injury. Isn’t it interesting how muscles can’t grow unless they are torn first, but the result is a larger, stronger muscle.
Nikki and Kristin and I were raised in a religious tradition that believes we are resurrected, on the other side of death, in perfected bodies. About that, Nikki says to me,
“I was thinking about perfected bodies, and I wonder which version of me is ‘perfect.’ I don’t even know what my real hair color is.”
Kristin (who happens to be Nikki’s sister) joins the conversation saying, this makes me think about the metaphysical life scars we carry with us, too. The bad stuff that happens to us. “If they were manifest on our bodies,” she says, “some of us might walk around looking like a disfigured burn victim. I’ve got to learn to love those scars, too.”
And she suggests that all the GSG employees undertake a Post-It Love Bomb Campaign in public bathrooms everywhere. I’m in.
Let’s work on this. Adoring our scarred selves. Let’s be a work in progress, emphasis on “progress.’
(p.s. Aren’t I lucky that I get to work with people so thoughtful and intuitive and funny?)
I’m buying some Post-It Notes.