May 13 (II)

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.