Bruised but not broken


Cuts bleed and sometimes require formal medical attention. Scrapes are inconsiderate, making the patch-up process unnecessarily difficult. Sprains and broken bones simply cause suffering. But bruises, these are the wounds that tell stories.

Bruises are chameleons. They begin as pink or red, don a bluish tinge, shift into purple then transform into various shades of yellow and green before finally fading away.

Bruises generally only hurt when pressed, but they remain a visible memory of pain. If you experience something traumatic, say a beating or a car accident, a bruise will show the world how you’ve suffered. Consider it the ultimate witness; a bruise cannot lie and may even help you obtain justice.

Best of all, bruises make great writing prompts. Where did you get that bruise? Oh, that came from smashing my knee into the coffee table while hurrying to answer the door for the UPS guy. What? I didn’t want him leaving my new computer in the rain.

This one? This bruise I picked up when the power went out, and the cat stepped right beneath my feet as I was walking down the stairs. Instead of stepping on her, I let gravity guide me. Right into the banister.

The bruise on my shoulder? That appeared while rappelling down a well to save a little boy. The rope swayed with our combined weight and I hit the wall with my side. Kid’s fine though.

To be honest, I have no idea where this bruise came from. It’s possible I’ve started sleepwalking again, and dreamed I was a vigilante or superhero. I imagine the fighting was pretty intense. You should see the other guy.

(Note: A writing prompt on The 10th Muse inspired this post.)

–Photo by Mensatic

5 true confessions of a jaded mind

chocolate ice cream

* August has long been my least favorite month of the year. Perhaps because it’s so freakin’ hot and muggy.

* The happiest moment of August is when the fall catalogs start to arrive, particularly the ones that feature Halloween items. That’s when I know the relief of Autumn is on the way.

* If I spy a small animal — say a cat or a chipmunk — hanging around the house, I will leave scraps of food for it.

* I am delighted by good manners, common courtesy and kindness.

* I never tire of chocolate.

My place in the world

Closeup of woman and door - Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris

“You’re going to make choices that don’t seem important. There’s little ones like, what’s side of the bed do you want? Yeah, oh, I thought that was trivial. That’s your side for LIFE right there!” –Ray Romano

Last night, while watching a favorite film, I noticed that two of the characters, a long-married couple, ate dinner at a wide, rectangular table. The man sat at one end and the woman at the other, with two seats on each side of the table between them. It was clear from the story that they had always sat in these places, and for many years, children or guests occupied the middle seats. Once the children had grown and moved away, the two remained in their separate corners, still in love and still separated by the gulf of habit and space.

This stuck me as odd, even though I’ve seen similar tableaux my whole life. Yet when I eat a meal at a long table with M, it never occurs to me to sit so far away from him. Oh, I’m sure it’s more proper to do so, particularly when there are guests over for dinner, but my place has always been by his side.

When we first met, I think we sat this way to be closer as we were flush with the headiness of new love. But we’ve been together for nine years now, and the seating arrangement hasn’t changed. We always choose to sit near rather than far.

M and I have adopted similar arrangements for other activities too. We walk down the street, and he’s typically on the side that’s closest to the road. During a movie or show, he’s on my right. In bed, he’s usually on my left. I could be wrong but I don’t think there was ever a moment where one of us formally declared, “This is my side.” It just happened naturally, and now, over time has become our tradition, part of what Stephen King describes as the “interior language of marriage.”

Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven by W.B. Yeats


Had I the heaven’s embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light;
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

(I reread this poem today and was struck once more by its beauty. Just had to share.)