Outside my lab, a dogwood bloomed for a few weeks in March, its pink flowers warm against the white angles of the building. I thought of that tree often while I was lying in bed with headaches or sitting in the shower letting the water pulse against my back. Living is a hard art. One thing piles on top of another and suddenly you’ve got a hyperextended elbow or a shredded knee or a scar right in the middle of your chest that you don’t remember getting. I have such a scar. It is white now, and shaped like a teardrop, and I touch it occasionally if only to remind myself that it is still there. The wood of the dogwood is pink-grained and sturdy. Walking sticks made from it rest smoothly in the hand.