Kat, Sarah, and I have collaborated to post a prompt-a-day in December.  Check the #Reverb12 page for prompts and and take a look at the main page for the basic instructions on the project.

December 10thScarsThey leave marks, and sometimes you can only take what you can carry.  What will you, by choice or by chance, carry into 2013?

About a year ago, I had a really nasty case of shingles.

At first, I thought I was just stressed-out, and run-down, and having the worst back pain of my life.  As it turned out, no, I was covered in a hideous rash, on the week of my first wedding anniversary as a legal divorcee, the weekend an old friend was coming to town.

It was…not my finest hour.

I’d had chicken pox as a kid, and I’d had them pretty bad — I can still pinpoint some of the scars on my legs and chest; individual white specks where the shadows of disease remain.  Then again, I have very pale skin, and I am (admittedly) prone to digging out what itches or ails me instead of sitting through the discomfort.  So that I would have scars from that era is…unsurprising.

But in my early thirties, I added to those scars a collection from the shingles flare: a constellation of blots that covered my upper right thigh and lower back.

For a while, the marks were quite noticeable.  Now, less so, but still — they are there. 

There is no glory in them; I didn’t come by these scars by an athletic feat or because of some act of bravery.  I am stuck with them because I was run down; because my body attacked itself; because I virus I picked up when I was a toddler reactivated in my weakened immune system.

I am marked; the marks are mine. 

But they’ve made me more patient with myself.

They’ve made me more accepting of things I didn’t choose and stuff — metaphorical and physical — that is outside of my control, but that impacts me.

Like it or not, this milkyway of little scars comes with me — again — into the new year.  And strangely enough, as it fades, little by little, I am coming to accept it (and me) a bit more.

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