I have a scar on my right wrist. It’s a hole from when I was climbing a chain link fence in Kindergarten and a rogue piece of fence punctured through my skin.
Another one is on my left thumb. Oh shit, no it’s on my right thumb. It’s jagged and about a half an inch long. I was in Hawai’i doing dishes in the hostel kitchen and squeezed my hand into a glass to get at the schmutz caked on the bottom and the glass cracked and sliced my thumb. It was the grossest feeling. Like the time I reached into my dark void of a trashcan to retrieve a receipt and sliced my finger on a tuna can lid. GROSS.
My thumb bled a lot, but was ultimately fine and even though it was 10 years ago, I still think about it every time I routinely squeeze my hand into a glass to wash it. Funny how that works.
I have a scar tissue spot on my cervix from a colposcopy when I was in my late teens. They had to scrape off some tissue to make sure I didn’t have cancer. Or whatever. Looking back on it now – I wouldn’t do the colposcopy again, but I didn’t know then what I know now about HPV and vaginas and women’s health.
I sometimes marvel at what an amazing part of the body the cervix is, and how rare we taken the time to think about it in appreciation. I’ve put mine through the ringer – an abortion, inserting an IUD, and then removing an IUD after it shifted 6 years later. And now I’m getting more intimate with it every day – feeling it’s position, noting it’s fluid and what it feels like – as a part of charting my fertility. It’s amazing how much you can discern from its changes.
In a way I’m super annoyed that naturally avoiding pregnancy is a daily task. But at the same time – it’s so fucking cool to get to know my body in this way. And I know that after a few months of doing it, it will just be a normal part of my routine and won’t seem so unknown. My boyfriend can’t connect with his own body in this way – he just shoots loads of semen 24/7 and that’s all there is to it.
But we’re having fun with the whole charting-my-body-changes-so-we-can-not-make-a-baby thing. There’s a website called The Beautiful Cervix Project and I am going to submit a photo series. Basically it would be putting a clear plastic speculum in every day, having my boyfriend wear a headlamp, shine the light deep in there and get at the perfect angle to snap a picture.
Scars, stories, so many layers.