The Scars and the Sea Monster

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Swipe, swipe. The thick glossy consistency spread nicely. Not smooth like butter on hot toast, but smooth nonetheless. It wasn’t exactly the lovely smell of toasty goodness either, but that’s alright. Pretty smells are overrated. What is pretty, without stink?

I’m asking existential questions about paint, I thought as another slathering of the soft blue enlivened the wall. I was inviting the color of ocean into a house that had a bit too much of the color of earth. The freshness of water and air were filtering in faster and faster with each swipe of blue paint, their cool freshness swirling around me in elegant invisible tendrils. Maybe it will make the paint dry faster.

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On one of my exposed shoulder blades I felt the tacky sensation of paint drying. I had made it all of twenty minutes into painting, and already some paint seemed to have gotten curious and wondered over to the unexplored territory of my other side.

“How much paint did I get on my back?” I said to the boy that was moving a roller across the rug in the sort of way that was giving me anxiety despite that there was no paint on it. I felt a tug at my shirt and suspicious little boy laughter.

“It’s a lollipop!” The boy’s voice was as dramatic as the brightly colored candy he was then dangling in front of my face. The tot. I swiveled my head around, which in my mind looked like the work of an owl, as I scanned the room. She spoke up before I even had to question her.

“I needed both hands, so I set it in your shirt.” She chirped this out like an adorable baby bird that decided to set its tasty worm aside at the corner of its nest. I shook my head at her while feeling the angry lines that grow vertically upward between my eyebrows deepening. I returned to my work.

Slowly that blue water was being spread onto those walls, slicking over top the small nicks and lines that formed on the walls from all the life that had been lived in that room. They were little scars—things too small to make it worthwhile filling, but could be noticed if leaning in close. Scars like the little things here and there on my own body; little imperfections that revealed age and use. They revealed experience.

I moved behind the big buffet that was edged away from the wall just far enough for me to squeeze between. There, hidden away, I was privy to the goings-on of that room without disrupting it. The tot and boy skittered in, speaking in low tones until a sudden “Roar!”

“I’m a land monster,” the boy said while doing something that sounded like pawing at the ground. “Roar! Roar! Roar!”

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“Why are you roaring?” The tot asked, like only a tot can. An older, experienced—scarred—person would not have bothered asking, and assumed a roar came with some sort of ominous meaning. But a tot makes no sweeping assumptions.

“Because I want to be a sea monster,” the boy answered in a pitiful tone, and I could almost see his lip drooping. “Go get your magic wand.” The tot burst out of the room enthusiastically to locate the bent, unraveled dollar store wand that had half of its stick broken off some months back.

“Abracadabra!” The boy announced and suddenly was creeping very close to the wet paint. I caught sight of the tot then, and noticed a smearing of that water blue had managed to get onto the shoulder of her nightgown. The purple material had acquired a scar. I silently congratulated it on it.

The sea monster had gotten distracted by the array of painting tools that I had scattered about the floor. “What’s this?” He asked. And then the tot got a quizzical look in her eye—the one reserved for an explosion of questions that are often unrelated to anything on hand—and the storm arrived. “Why can’t fish breathe on land? Why can’t people breathe in water? Why…”

I ran my finger across one small protrusion in the drywall as I found an equally-sized one on my thigh from that time I was walking on a guard rail as a child. The scar didn’t come from the walking, but from the falling. That wall and I had been living and experiencing and learning how to answer questions. Well, at least I had been learning about questions—I can’t speak for the wall (and neither can it.) I sat and admired the scars for a minute.

Beautifully imperfect, I thought as I smoothed that new sheen of paint across that scar line. Just like life.

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Lol kids will be kids. Little monsters...lol

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The tot is trying to press buttons on my phone while I read this. It is as though she really wants to drive your point home.

I find myself getting quite philosophical when painting. Hats off to you though, I always insist the kids are removed because I can't afford new carpets and furniture!

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Ha! I was doing the wainscotting last night with a brush and the open can - limited spillage options. Today when I bust out the roller and things get messy they will be given unlimited access to the coveted screentime. The carpet will breath a sigh of relief :)

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Screen time is a splendid saviour at times. I use the unlimited trick for those occasions too!

Wrote ya an email earlier today...

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Got it, thanks :)


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I've been missing you !

Ohhhh that sounds like it is a wonderful color, even though I can't see it with my eyes.

Scars are part of life, every part of life for sure. That doesn't mean we have to like them, but it does sound nice to be able to accept them calmly, wherever they may appear.

Hope you are doing well.

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I thought of you a couple times over the last few weeks. Hope all is well with you. It is a wonderful color. I just let the kids stay up until 11:30 because I did not want to stop until I got the job done. Now I just have to clean every other room in the house that I abandoned to get this project done :)

Scars are fascinating to me. Isn't it just amazing what the body can heal? And there is always a story with a scar. I do love stories.

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Everything is well here..... as far as I can tell. :)

I don't blame you. It would be terrible to be almost done and have to stop and come back to it later. Yuck !

The rest of the house will be fine like it is till tomorrow... oh wait, you said that yesterday, so maybe it's all done by now. LOL !

The body is so amazing with that healing thing. I"m always amazed when I stop and ponder all that it does in the background to keep us going.

OMG! He looks so big now! He's growing so fast! Where's my fav blond? I bet she's getting more cute with her big beautiful eyes!

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She is more cute, and more sassy. But mostly cute :)

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Howdy ginnyannette! I think you should get an award for even attempting to paint with little kids around! wow. lol. Life is sure imperfect though, and beautiful.

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The painting was a success! The children didn't cause any havoc, but I did notice that Big Dog, of all creatures, managed to dip his tail in the white paint I was painting the trim. Frankly, it suits him. When you are good looking, you just can't go wrong :)

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lol...Big Dog can wear any color and still look good! lol. That's hilarious.