I'm currently reading Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami, and came across a phrase today that struck me.
A good woodsman has only one scar.
The underlying lesson behind this phrase in the story is that we should learn lessons quickly, and not continue to persevere in self-harming behavior. In this thought, the woodsman learns his lesson and never again allows himself to be harmed.
You've got to know your limits. Once is enough, but you've got to learn. A
little caution never hurt anyone. A good woodsman has only one scar on
him. No more, no less.
As someone with several scars, I wonder about this thought. Surely, as I've gotten older, I have become more cautious. As a parent, I've exercised more caution than I did as a single. But is every one of my scars a result of not being cautious enough? What if I have scars that I've earned through endeavoring to become a better human? What if I have scars that I've acquired via putting myself in harm's way to protect another? Does that not make me a good woodsman?
Dorothy knew a woodsman once. He had several scars. Because he loved the wrong girl, the witch caused his axe to slip several times, making him a hollow-bodied, heartless tin man. But very quickly, Dorothy found out that the tin man was gentle and kind.
Scars are interesting. People either love or hate to talk about them. I'll happily tell you about the scars on my hands and arms. It's the scars we have inside us, the invisible scars that are much more personal. Every time your heart breaks, you develop a scar. Every time you lose someone or something, a missing place scars your soul. But these scars are what makes each of us more unique, they give us a back story, an air of intrigue.
Kintsugi is the practice of repairing broken pottery and ceramics with gold, and is thought to make the object more beautiful. Our scars mark us like broken pottery, but when we inlay them with gold, we make ourselves more beautiful, more precious, more unique.
(Image taken from http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/kintsugi-kintsukuroi)