Skin. How much of it is your own? How elastic can you go, how much can you stretch and bend and meld before you break? Tonight I think of skin. Of our fortress, our wall and our palace guard. I think of the barriers we place metaphorically that manifest themselves in our skin. Skin, pierced but not indefinitely. Our wounds heal, big and small; lacerations reconnect in the time it takes for our aggressor to walk away. I think of skin because perhaps it is the only tangible weapon we come into this world with. I think of skin for our hearts can only fight off so much with a weary will. Each pain and ache and tear, while paining the soul, only adds layer to our natural weapon, our skin.
I suppose I think of skin for anyone can touch, can sense and with tactile tongues think they understand. Our skin is our show, our overture and finale, our facade we choose to display. I guess I think of skin for its misleading nature, and its implications. How much do we know of someone by their skin? Can we see beyond the shield, and perhaps its those who make the valiant effort to do so that we should keep around.
I think of my own skin, with layers regrettable, layers I would have done fine without earning. I laugh at the prospect of someone who thinks they can judge my soul for what my skin shows. My skin lies and my eyes assist it. I find humorous the notion that they think they can figure out my story by my skin. I wear not my stories as tattoos, and protect them for the one who is worthy of knowing. One soul knew my skin and the layers it hid, and he resides under layers of the Earth now.
But the man I knew was different. He was worthy, he is the reason I am able to make long, drawn out extended metaphors. He raised me, and I lowered him six feet down with a tear of my own to kiss his eternal wooden sanctuary. And I miss him, and know that there will probably never be a day that goes by that I will not. But his unique place in my life shall not be characterized by the way in which he left it. He taught me that these layers caused by pain did not lack love. He taught me that while the lessons may not come ache-free, that each stage and progression and growth would be accompanied by unimaginable love. And I guess more than anything that my skin, while harboring its secrets, exudes more love and joy because of the lessons he taught me.
I will always miss my grandfather, but I refuse to mourn in vain. I urge any reader to remember their own skin, the stories that calloused it and the souls who served to smooth its cracks. Remember the good and the bad with equal fondness, as they worked cohesively to form the perfectly imperfect shield of skin you boast today.