And so, the question coming as it did out of the blue after years and years, caught me off guard: "What does this T E on your back mean?" I muttered something about it being a very long, very old story, and let it go at that. So did she. But, I have been plunged into a month of wondering, after almost eleven years, what those old scars do mean.
I know what they meant then, when we did it. I remember how intensely I wanted to belong to Him, and I remember that having those marks meant that we were connected in blood and flesh, but also in spirit, mind, and heart. I remember what He said they meant to Him ... that He felt He had freed marks that were on my soul to become evident on my flesh. To Him, and to me, it was that cutting that signified our bond and our commitment to one another. I remember the long period during which we did not allow the cuts to heal, working instead to cause scarring that would remain visible -- and it has done that. I remember the burning and itching that drove me to distraction; that can still flare up and live, even now, in the flesh on my shoulder blade.
Of course, we have passed through fire and storm, and nothing is as it was. Today, the marks remain. We are alive, and our love continues. The marks are still, obviously there. But the trust and the faith and the simple belief that we were meant to be? All of that is gone. The willingness to hold onto each other and risk everything is blown away. I don't think we'll ever find that again. And so... if there remains any meaning in the marks on my skin, it is the meaning that one finds in any bit of history...