That old wound. The one that smells like home. The one that sits on the heart, on the lungs. The one you feel with every breath you take. An open wound. One that doesn't heal when it's exposed to the sun. Nor does it heal when it is safely covered with layers. That old wound that doesn't heal because it's centuries deep. It's miles long. And its mass is heavy, weighted, and is gravitating to the bottom of the earth. Yes, THAT old wound.
You know the kind. Because you, too, have that old wound. It may look, and feel, and smell different than mine. Your old wound may tingle, it may be enraged, it may scream at you, or maybe you have buried it so deep you forgot about it. But it hasn't forgotten about you. It comes back when you sniff a whif of its smell - maybe at a movie theatre (a safe place to welcome old wounds), maybe through a relationship (a less safe way to welcome old wounds), or maybe when you looked at the mirror and saw the tint of that wound in your own eyes. Maybe in family photos, if that old wound of yours is as old as mine. Maybe then when your eyes glance at your past - that old wound will awaken to shake you at your core. To rattle you. To frighten you. To hurt you. Because that old wound? That old wound hurts. That is what it does well - it hurts. It's excellent at hurting. It is worthy of all awards for hurting. But nobody gives awards for hurting... not in our world. Our world likes to wrap that old wound in a pretty bow, call it 'the past' or speak to it with a nice affirmation, a slogan like 'what doesn't kill you, make you stronger'. Ugh, yeah... our world likes to suggest therapy, or prayers, or meditation, yoga, or whatever health food you choose - to treat that wound, or heal that wound, or bury that wound for good. But that old wound is stubborn. It's feisty. It's determined in its quest to hurt. It could win awards for its determination!
It sure seems hopeless, but see - that old wound? It's OLD.
It's due to die eventually. And eventually may happen sooner rather than later. At least - that's the hope.
Meanwhile, I'll do what works best for my old wound:
I'll write about it.
I'll look at it outside of myself.
I'll suffocate it with my thoughts.
I'll dwell on it in my poetry.
I'll cry about it to my love.
I'll enrage about it.
I'll share it.
I'll care for it.
I'll ask it - why are you still here?
And one day - when it finally dies - that old wound will stop answering.
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman