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