I've been thinking about where you carry those you've loved and lost.
It might be in your heart, or your mind. It's somewhere in your corporal being, of that I'm certain.
When I was eight or nine, we visited Maude's family in Tunisia. And I stepped on a piece of green glass.
More notable from the trip were the following events: their maid took Maude and me into the bathroom and lit a cigarette and tried to teach us to smoke. And across the street archeologists had uncovered all these amazing Roman mosaics. The dig was enormous.
But the glass.
It was small, and got stuck in my right heel like a splinter, and worked its way under the skin. You could see it, but you couldn't get to it. So I limped around for a while.
Eventually, it stopped hurting. There's no scar, no evidence that it was ever there. But it is.
And I think this happens with the important people in our lives. We're left with more than scars.
Someone like a parent, well, they're everywhere in your cells. I think, even gone, they permeate your entire being.
You don't have a piece of them. You have all of them. If that makes any sense. I find this comforting and overwhelming, depending on the moment.
As for others, ex-friends and ex-lovers, I wonder if we don't carry them as splinters, as shards?
Relationships end, and we cleanse. Through tears, through actions. We delete phone numbers, emails, pictures. We get rid of reminders.
Slowly, slowly, we heal.
But healing isn't erasure. Each relationship changes us, and some bit, however large or small, remains.
I think our minds, hearts, and souls wrap the jagged fragment in protective tissue, tucking it away and tumbling it until it's smooth and opaque as wave-worn glass. And with time and familiarity - because eventually, doesn't everything become familiar? - the piece is such a part of us, it seems like it's gone.
But I don't believe it is. I believe we walk around decorated with invisible splinters and shards.