A woman on a motorcycle

For Kiefer 

It was June. Warmer than usual, I could feel the thick, humid air floating into the garage. I lifted my hair off the nape of my neck and swiped some sweat off my forehead with a little too much vigor. My frustration was rising. 

He crouched beside me, where I was closely examining the tank of my 1981 CX500. Engraved in the tank was a pronounced scratch. Noticing my displeasure, he smiled a little and ran his finger along the imperfection. I started at it, irritated by its existence.

“It makes you wonder what happened.”

I stopped glaring at the scratch and waited for him to continue. 

“It makes you wonder what caused it, you know?”

I traced the scrape with my finger, my mind beginning to wander. The older motorcycle had been on many adventures before it found its way to me. 

He stood up and shrugged, “History.”

I turned my head to look at him, searching his eyes for the meaning of his words.

“It’s history,” he repeated.

I stared at the worn tank and a metaphor began unfolding in my mind. He had a way of doing that—saying something that left me thinking deeper thoughts.

When I think about that scraped up Honda, I think of my life. Much like the motorcycle, I’ve collected some scratches. Just as I wanted to buff out the imperfection on the motorcycle’s tank, I have often wanted to buff out traces of the messy mistakes and missteps that mark my life’s story.

I have often wanted to buff out traces of the messy mistakes and missteps that mark my life’s story.

Yet, I don’t need to buff and polish and perfect. There is no need to abolish scars collected through living life. For such is life.

Misadventures, heartbreak, wrong decisions and failed endeavors—they leave their marks. Those marks serve as a testament, evidence that we are not only alive, but that we are living. 

We fall. We get hurt. We get up. We leave with a few scratches. 

We fall. We get hurt. We get up. We leave with a few scratches. 

They give us character.

They cause wonder.

They beg the question, “What happened?”

And with that question lie stories waiting to be told. 

Our stories.

History. 

Are there parts of your story that you sometimes wish you could erase? What good has come out of the hard parts of your life story?

Image via Adri Law, Darling Issue No. 19

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