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Thomas Cole: Prometheus Bound (1847)
"Be fierce in your acceptance to learn intended lessons."

Wounds seem delicate but also intelligent. They mostly heal themselves for if they cannot, they might well prove fatal. They usually need acknowledgement more than they need treatment, lest they inadvertently be left to fester. They often need isolation, a quarantine, if only a bandage, and a bandage infrequently checked. Constant scrutiny becomes the enemy of recovery. Time cannot heal all wounds, but the ones that do heal always require patience, often more than the aptly-named patient feels capable of providing. Some distraction helps, anything capable of directing the worrying mind away from attending, because wounds need little attention. Nattering over them never encourages healing, though most do not benefit from neglect. They might demand respect, acceptance that you're ailing without insisting upon becoming permanently disabled. They heal or they don't, but the world will not snap back to the way it was beforehand. Better to project a progression than fall into abject depression about the change. Shit happens and then we heal. Well is a relative state.

Wounds seem wiser than any patient suspects, and even doctors and nurses learn to respect their inherent wisdom.
Healers do not always turn out to be the leaders in treatment, for they follow what the wound insists upon. The usual ointments might miss the mark this time, and thoughtful attention seems essential. Each splint seems just as unique as every break, each just different enough to make each treatment non-routine. Triage then check back the next morning. Give yourself rest and respite. This is not a test of your moral underpinning, but an intrusive event, not the result of God bent on retribution. It could have happened to anyone and has happened to many, many before. This wound does not in any way render you special, but more the opposite, for it represents a normal occurrence, however unprepared you might have been for its visit. No one in the history of this world so far was ever inoculated against such events, and nobody ever will find freedom from them. Congratulations! You've just re-joined the ranks of humanity.

By rights, every witness should be struck dumb by another's wounding. No words will undo any damage. Yes, of course, express condolences, but do not expect eloquence from yourself or anyone else. Leave incantations to witchdoctors, for only they hold enough imagination to believe those mumbles actually work. The wounded could not care less. They're busy trying to divert their attention and do not need any deeper interpretation of the significance of their experience. They're working hard to get beyond it, not to be reminded of it. The meaning of it might take more time than the healing requires, but meaning will eventually emerge. This, too, travels to its own timetable.

When this world changes, it ignores preference. Loosen a boulder and it wreaks havoc all the way down, breaking its own path to the bottom. Difference doesn't discriminate. It's neither good nor bad without someone enumerating its debits and credits. It might ache at first, healing being a blessedly cursed experience. Some medication might be indicated to encourage greater tolerance. Grimacing does not promote recovery, just suffering. We should not suffer gladly, but might more properly suffer some anyway, for it promises to teach at least humility, though nobody need plumb the deepest depths of contriteness. Be fierce in your acceptance to learn intended lessons. Running and hiding never works, for some reckoning always lurks within every wound and every recovery. Recover will come wearing a different meaning than you suspected. Scars might forever mar your former beauty. Even you might come to appreciate your beauty beneath the surface and the wisdom inherent in every Wounding and each healing. Only you can provide proper solace.

©2021 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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