Recently I was chipping dried mortar off the back of a small mosaic piece so I could reset it somewhere else. The chipping off was going great with a sharp new hammer (recently purchased from the Tabularasa company in Italy).
As I held the piece in my left hand, I struck for about the fifth time, but forgot to take into account that the mortar had a 'rubberized' additive in it. So, it was more of a glancing blow off the piece which allowed the sharp pointy carbide end of the hammer to nestle deeply in my left thumb.
Oh, the words I said when this happened... as much because of my stupid carelessness as for the actual pain. I can take quite a bit of pain, but this was absolutely 'stub 15 toes at one time' excruciating.
After wrapping it in a cold paper towel and applying pressure, the blood finally stopped. Without stiches, I now have a scar that still hurts a bit when I apply pressure in a wrong direction.
Scars can be a good metaphor for what happens in life sometimes. It made me think of a girl I knew when I was in my second year of high school, Lauren. We had been going out for about 4 months which was forever for a high school kid. She was beautiful with long black hair and bright green eyes, and possibly one of the smartest and nicest girls I knew. Summer nights at the waterpark, autumn mornings at band camp (no jokes), with so many common interests it was all perfect.
One November afternoon sitting around the dining table with sunlight streaming in the window, my father told us all that we'd be moving from Dallas to the middle of nowhere (west of Ft. Worth) to help my grandfather drill oil wells. Being a quick lad, I immediately calculated the impact of this catacalysmic event to my situation with Lauren with the lightning like efficiency of at least 100 Commodore 64 computers.
The days which followed were filled with a wistfulness that is hard to describe. As a final gesture, I bought her a jewelry piece the likes of which my 16 year old's allowance savings could just barely manage. It was 20F outside and ice and snow everywhere, but I walked it over to her house located about three miles away as a last Christmas present. All of my extremities were numb, even my soul. I understand why she was sad, but I was surprised to see her mom cry about it.
To this day, that scar still hurts if I move it the wrong way.