We have all had scratches on different parts of our bodies, and everybody licks their broken skin using their own personally devised magic words. Some people do it by whispering, some by whining, but everybody nurses it the best way they can and know how to wishing only one thing. To make it heal. Or at least to make its edges turn into crust so that they can assuage their fears that, finally, things are getting better. Every scratch has its Name, Surname and date of birth. As if it were some kind of register number in the cosmic archives of pain. What hardly anyone ever knows is whether that gaping hole in the heart muscle has its – expiration date.
Those marks on our inner skin left by other people’s barbed wire palms are often only more visible to our soul from the inside than to the world looking at us from the outside. And just as the tattoos we willingly decided to have remain forever, so do the scratches we got unwillingly. But they last only as long as it took the pain to cut the skin. A brief second. Scratches made by life last longer only in those who, by pointing their fingers at them, poke their fingers in them as well.
How is it possible that we have assigned an expiration date to kisses so that they only last until the lips no longer touch the skin, and a lifetime to scars although the slaughterers of our inner self are no longer even near our skin? How is it possible that we believe time heals everything, but won’t let our own time pass? We construct a barrier of our own being, preventing it from moving forward in the river of life.
We have all had scratches in different places, but we have almost always been broken in the same place. We hold on until we realise that time, just like water, continuously flows and that the barrier of our human flesh remains. We break when we realise that we are stuck in the past while life, strong, powerful and beautiful, goes down the drain, and that, unless we change something, we’ll be one of those who only existed but did not live.
That’s why you should let wounds heal by themselves and just continue life without letting them hold you back. Don’t let a kiss last just for a second, but decide to make it last forever. Don’t let others convince you that love hurts, but repeat to them forever that lack of love hurts. Whatever gives you pleasure – sentence it to eternity, whatever hurts – smother it momentarily. Because anything longer than that is a waste of time.
Turn every scratch not into a weapon on your waist, but into a medal on your lapel, and the story behind the scratch not into reasons for new wars, but into peace that came after them, and as for the experience gained from the scar, turn it into something worthy of retelling, not shame. Because wars are not waged to achieve peace, they must be stopped to restore peace.
When, in the end, that wounded body decides it is time to go where war and scratches do not exist, you will be sorry for tormenting yourself longer than it was necessary by stories about something that hurt, instead of healing yourself by searching for something else to love even harder.
Translated from the Serbian by Svetlana Milivojević-Petrović
This post is also available in: Serbian