Rainy Day Writing

Writing, Reading, Inspirations and Aspirations

Life: The Surgeon and The Sculptor

Sometimes life is all hard edges and no soft.

Sometimes those hard edges come at you whirring like a saw blade.

Entire parts of you can be wounded, or worse yet, obliterated:

The part of you that knows joy. The part of you that can relax. The part of you that appreciates irony.

The part of you that is gratitude. The part of you that is peace. The part of you that is faith, or patience, or empathy.

Life is a surgeon. With a random hand. It’s impossible to get through it without going under the knife from time to time.

And if you have ever literally gone under the knife, you know that you come out of the operating room changed.

You come out with wounds.

You come out with pains.

Often, you come out having lost something: an organ, a limb, a clump of tissue, a small collection of brain cells.

You come out different than when you went in.

But if you are lucky, you come out.

You convalesce, you heal, you adapt, you learn to live with less.

The wounds turn into scars.

The pains turn into occasional twinges when you move certain ways.

The losses become challenges.

And somehow, you learn to adapt.

How to eat, how to move, how to string together a sentence again.

How to laugh, how to love, how to celebrate.

How to go on when you’ve lost something integral to who you are.

At the risk of sounding morose, I will say this:

Life is a series of losses.

When we are born, we lose the safety and security of our mother’s womb.

When we grow up, we lose the freedom of our childhood.

As we move through adult life we lose all kinds of things, some as trivial as our car keys, others as precious and irreplaceable as a spouse, a parent, a child.

I don’t know how people get through the losses I see them experience.

I have no wisdom to offer on surviving loss.

I just know that most of us do…survive.

We heal. We adapt. We move forward.

We are challenged and we are changed.

We are not the same and that is difficult.

Every loss requires a transition, from what we were to what we must be now.

And every transition is an opportunity to discover new reserves of strength, resolve, courage, compassion, love, faith.

Going under the knife is scary.

You have to have faith in the surgeon.

You have to have faith in yourself.

Life is a surgeon.

But Life is also a sculptor. It’s a creative force with an eye for beauty and at times, a tender touch. It’s what we do. It’s all we know.

Surgery and sculpture.

Both processes require a cutting away to reach the desired result.

One towards healing the other towards beauty.

Sometimes we have to yield to both and trust the process.

Copyright 2019 by Ilona Elliott

The Author (on the right)


  1. Absolutely beautiful. Love you Lona.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Judie

    Well said Sis!


  3. I’ve always loved your sense of humor but likewise find myself reading your seriousness with an easy, open solemnity because you are so wise and knowing to me. Not that you know everything, it’s the way you see things. Both in the remarks you’ve left for me back on my own journal and through your writings here. I’ve struggled with some of the things here, struggled with adapting and challenges and the beginning of this stirred startling unease in me. The idea or representation of a surgeon to me is so clinical and cold, I found it hard to read over that but it was effective. My baggage has broken roller wheels. Life can be cold. But there was the delicateness and light, too. The uneasy balance. Wonderful work here on really hard stuff. You always reach me, Ilona. Hope this finds you and your loved ones doing all right.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much TF for your faithful friendship and support. We are all doing well. Life is a cakewalk right now. This was for so many of the folks I know who are going through the hard stuff, many of them blogger friends. Oddly enough, in this day and age, I seem to know more about the details of the bloggers lives I follow than the FB friends I have known most of my life. I think that is why blogs are important–they give us room to say the hard things. Unlike other social media platforms which seem to be made for one liners, flashy photos and trading political insults. So tiresome. I would gladly trade it all and go back to phone calls and emails where you have time to express yourself properly. But then I probably would not know you at all and a handful of other bloggers I have come to care about. So, here we are. We work with what we have got.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sometimes you go into surgery and come out with a new added organ, like I did in April. I liked your analogy and the spacing so the thoughts could breathe.
    Moving forward, and accepting change. I liked the surgeon and I think you could have stopped there and had the sculptor as a second post. I think the analogy of clay, sculpting could be a full post. Very nice post, I like reading your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was thinking about your experience and the experience of other transplant recipients when I wrote this but could not figure out how to weave that into the story. Thank you for reading and commenting Dave. Wishing you continued health and new strength daily.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Denise Pistey

    This is profound! I love how you write!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Denise! Sometimes I have moments of clarity! xo


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