Brian Smith deals with pain left by the loss of a friend. He looks at how closely the loss of a person to a community resembles wounds to the body. Brian notices how the slow signs of healing on a community level indicate that the community itself is alive and has a structural integrity. -Editor
About seven weeks ago I fell while I was running in the forest. I broke open the skin on my knee in a long gash. The cut was impressively deep and spilling a good amount of blood. It was the type which a doctor would immediately decide needed stitches. I chose not to go through the hassle of a doctor partly because I like cool scars and also because I was confident that my body could heal on its own, even if it took a little longer. I like watching cuts heal.
Healing is the opposite of decay. Dead things decay. Alive things heal. Watching a thing repair itself is an inspiring reminder of the mystery of life. Why does the 155 pounds of material that I call my body hold together as a unit and repair itself rather than decay?
With the recent passing of my friend I have watched a fresh, deep cut in my community spill blood.