Scars are just another kind of memory.
— M L Stedman, The Light Between Oceans

It's fair to say, that after almost six months with no blog at all, to relaunch it with a new name, a new look, and new sections all happening at once - a couple of things occurred. Firstly, I thought 'what the hell am I doing?' and secondly, I have ideas coming out the proverbial yin yang, after a creative black hole that has been composed of lack of time, energy and a fair amount of 'meh'.

So what would my first post be, I pondered. Would Osky make a return with 'The Death Of Satan Claws - A Thwarted Cat's Revenge'? Should I talk about something that's topical, and perhaps a little bit controversial, or return to an old nemesis, just for funsies (you know who you are, MoriLambie)? 

Then I actually stopped and thought about why I write. And it's not because I think about my subject matter from a forensic perspective; it never has been, and never will be. I write because I want to put my thoughts out of my head, and onto the equivalent of the pages of a commonplace book. It is catharsis, not crowd-pleasing, and that's when I knew what I wanted to say. 

I have been thinking a lot in the past week or so about scars. It's a strange word, really 'scar' - one of those words that very neatly sums up the appearance of its subject matter. It sounds slithery, and sinister, and vaguely as though it could rip or tear open at any moment. Its origin is Ancient Greek - 'Eskhara' - which literally means 'hearth' and in translation is 'the scab formed after a burn'. 

Scars, as we all know, are not necessarily visible, nor do they have to be of the physical kind. The scars inflicted by trauma and the careless handling of our psyche by others are immensely damaging and, just like the scars on our skin, can take a lifetime to fade. Sometimes we aren't even aware of the depth of our scars, and what they do to our ability to trust, to feel confident, to appreciate our own skills and worth - and especially to love, both ourselves and others.

This week has seen me face up to some new physical scars, and one of my best friends deal with the ones that leave marks on the soul. Out of the two of us, despite mine resulting in a need for a lot of rest and downtime, I feel that she is the one who has incurred the deeper gouges in the tender underside of her dermis. And the worst part of it is, that mine were fairly earned. Hers, on the other hand, were not. 

That does not mean her scars are any less honourable. And that is an important thing to remember. Scars are not just a sign of damage. They are also a sign of survival. They show where we have fought a good fight, and come out the other side alive. When I think about that Greek word, Eskhara, and the protective nature of a burn's scabbing - what a scar actually does is give us time to heal. 

That eventual fading is a sign that we are on the way back to our whole selves again. In the meantime, I know neither of us need to be ashamed of our battle scars, because scar tissue belongs to survivors. 

And if nothing else, both she, and I, are definitely that.