I’ve been writing about healing a lot. I’ve had lots of things to heal from in the past months.
Writing about healing is a form of healing.
Writing is a form of movement, and movement is integral to healing. I’ve been writing about movement a lot too.
Healing and movement, often slow; often slower than I want.
But today, I made it to a small hill I haven’t walked to in a couple of months. Finally.
I’m fascinated by my scars, and their physical healing. I see it right in front of my eyes – which seems fast. The day I got my stitches out, I saw the skin come together even more by evening than it had been in the morning. Today, I’ve looked at my scar three times and each time I swear it’s visibly more healed.
Yesterday I wrote about skin healing like a self-embrace – reaching to find the other part of itself. That reaching is also a way to close in, to comfort the pain.
We curl in, close off, away from pain. Our eyes squeeze shut if the sun is too bright. We cover our ears if the noise is too loud. We curl up in bed if we are overcome by physical or emotional pain – we protect our bellies, our hearts, our softest parts.
We curl into each other in hugs and embraces when we learn devastating news, or have shared pain. We bridge the cut made by distance, time, or a particularly bad argument – we bridge that pain by going to each other and closing the gap.
The healing of a wound is another form of that inward action – skin curling into itself, over the pain.
There’s more on my mind than my own current, individual healing process, but I haven’t found many words for it yet. I’m trying to be patient.
We’re in a country (a world) that needs healing. We need movement.
But healing also takes patience; it takes rest. Movement, yes, but interspersed with rest. A sense of what is working too hard, and stopping before that moment. We need to give ourselves time to recover, re-center; time to seek out the other side of the healing skin, and bring our whole selves back together.
Scars heal quickly if you’re not looking at them every moment. Sometimes you have to go away and come back to see what’s changed.
What does that mean in terms of healing societal wounds? It doesn’t mean disengaging entirely, but are there ways to find rest before we work too hard and suffer a setback? Are there ways to intersperse movement and rest, and be patient as the torn parts of ourselves, our societies, our relationships, settle in and heal? Do we need more stitches, or is it time to take them out? And once they come out, do we need more movement or more rest?
Today I walked further than I’ve walked in a couple months. And then I rested. And then I walked again. Movement and rest. Movement and rest. Curling in. Reaching out. Skin eventually finds itself, and so will we.