"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

05 July 2007


At the end of the two-part "Fisher King" episode of Criminal Minds (repeated last night), Reid speaks this quotation by Rose Kennedy:

"It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone."

This makes intuitive sense to me. I agree that wounds never "go away." However, sometimes the building of the scar tissue actually makes the wounded site stronger, not just less painful. For this to happen, one has to go through the pain of the injury, and it is the injury itself that is the indirect, but necessary, cause of the new strength. The injury isn't "gone" -- but it is re-formed, and we are better off for it.

On the other hand, writers have said that the only way to write truly is to explore the wounds, to keep the scar tissue from getting too thick while using the pain to understand something important -- not just about the self but about this world we find ourselves set down in. Perhaps the writing, the fingering of the wound for the purpose of understanding, is the writer's way of keeping sanity. (Of course, if this be so, the results are not always encouraging; writers are not known for their sanity as a general rule.)

Hmm. I have no idea where this thought is going. We know that pain in this fallen world can be a source of despair or a source of strength, depending on our response to it. So do we let scar tissue form and lessen the pain, or do we worry the wound to find what it may teach us? Or both, somehow, to find our way through?


Cindy said...

Let me throw in another interpretation. (Can't help it; it's the Perceiving type thing to do!)

Sometimes a wound must be "poked at," must be explored in order to clean it out or stretched as it heals (as in the case of burn scar tissue), especially the deepest/most severe ones. Otherwise they won't heal properly and will always be either painful or bound too tightly with scar tissue and so become a limit to one rather than a place of strength.

alaiyo said...

I like that, LuCindy. I want to keep exploring this metaphor sometime, but it does seem to be somewhat complex for the amount of time I have to actually think these days . . . :) Or else it's so simple that I can't see it . . . which is very possible!

predictablepoet said...

What about Frodo and his wounds in LOTR tril.? Tolkien made some interesting comments and inferences about wounding and being healed in ROTK.