Splinter

It finally came out.

The splinter has been at the base of my palm on my right hand for at least a week. Strangely, I never felt it. I could see it. The first time I saw it, I thought it was a fleck of dirt on the skin, and when I realized that wasn’t the case, I tried to get it out from one side of the splinter then the other. I couldn’t find the entry point, though, which makes it difficult to remove a splinter without using a sharp object.

Experience has taught me that splinters do work themselves out, or, rather, that our bodies efficiently work to remove foreign objects, using white blood cells, I imagine (for I haven’t looked into the science of it).  This splinter, however, has been content to remain in place. Subtle. Non-imposing. There’s no inflammation, no need to be concerned. Just wait.

But it doesn’t belong on me or in me, so it bothers me to see it.

Just now I pushed it a little to one side, and it started to come out. My hands are dry and cool. My mind is clear. I have no expectation one way or another about this splinter, but I am happy to see it gone. Simply removed, I flick it away.

I smile and happen to check my FitBit, which tells me that my heart rate is particularly calm, lower even than normal. I feel peaceful and aware. Stillness and sunshine surround me in the comfort of my home.

This is the mindfulness I want to take with me, the ease of being I want to embody; it cannot be forced, only practiced.

Some thoughts are like splinters for me, some terribly distracting, others not quite so bothersome.

The simplicity of this imperfection and the objectiveness in my view toward the splinter strike me as almost surreal. Shouldn’t I have been more concerned, worked harder at making things perfect?

No.

And in that “no” is a beautiful, life-affirming “yes.”

Thank you, splinter, for being my teacher today.

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