To open your heart to someone means to expose your scars of the past. Looking back it’s hard to believe I actually went through something like this and came out alive on the other side when it could have easily ruined my life.
It sometimes feels like a dream but each day when I meet the new day with my scar I know the nightmare was real and so was the car. It all happened so fast but I can still smell the sweet scent of the metal and taste the crash. I remember waking up sometime after midnight in a brightly lit room of white surrounded by doctors smiling and trying not to scare me as I lay on the table eye’s trying to focus on my surroundings with a liquid drip in my hand attempting to numb my skin and flesh within covered in a blanket up to my neck . A hot mess and the aftermath of a car wreck. I guess they didn’t want me to see my injury before I went into surgery. The first of four to follow and a graft. Which almost lead to my arm being cut in half.
I re-opened my eyes on the morning of September 30, 2008 with the chills, floating and feeling no pain in a dimly lit room of Cedars Sinai Medical Center with a view of Hollywood Hills but he only thing I could see was my arm wrapped from my shoulder to my wrist still attached to an IV. I didn’t recognize me and felt disconnected from my body. I sometimes feel that same way today. Sometimes it’s hard to look in the mirror. The optimist in me sees the scar over the wound while my pessimist side will always see the wound under the scar I still sometimes want to hide. They say that scar tissue is the strongest part of your skin and I guess I’ll find out if I ever try to tattoo over it. Speaking of which, not long after I began to heal I felt the urge to make things feel a bit more even on my arms. My scar it seemed, had left me looking a little one sided so I decided it was time to ink myself once again with sacred script. Something I only do for intimate reasons with true meanings. I tattooed my right forearm with two words I have forever felt represented me and in some way memorialized my accident into a blasphemous girls’s personal mission statement and memento mori. Or that’s how I like to think of it anyway.
As I sit here in front of my computer screen reliving my demons while diggin for ghosts and good stories to tell in a stream of consciousness for all to read, it’s hard to believe it was almost 4 years ago that this happened to me. I have asked myself what things might be like had I never taken that ride and if something has died inside or if this happened to let me know I was alive. I’ve struggled with the answers to all three questions and will probably continue to for the rest of my life. I got into the passenger seat that evening with a friend I trusted at the wheel and a happy feeling knowing that I was going to start the recording of My Ruin’s 5th album the next day with the man who would soon become my husband on guitar and someone who is now a stranger to me on bass. When the steel rod came through my arm my whole world changed in a moment. I can still recall being pulled from the car and lying on the cold hard cement of Santa Monica Blvd gushing blood which had a dark red tint that matched my lipstick at the time which was the last thing I remember before everything went dark. Some scars are a rite of passage while others are a painful reminder. I’ve been told mine is a beautiful badge of courage by the man I love. The truth is, I have learned that it’s a shallow life that doesn’t give a person a few scars and there is something beautiful about all scars whatever the nature. A scar means the hurt is over, the wound is closed and healed, done with. I’ve also learned that courage doesn’t always roar, sometimes courage is that little voice at the end of the day that says “I’ll try again tomorrow.”
I guess what could have been “My Ruin” [pun intended] instead became a blessing in disguise. My accident helped to inspire an album, conceptualize our beautiful video and drove me to be the best I could be vocally when it was finally time for me to enter the studio adorned in stitches & staples and strength as my muse. It gave me the fire and passion to return to my art, ready for blood with a throat full of heart. Now here I am with both arms still fully attached, one blasphemous and the other blessed. I sometimes wonder if it was all a test and if so, why and what will be next? They say out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls and the most massive characters are seared with scars. Do I believe this? Yes. I also believe that a scar is what happens when the word is made flesh.
scarlet to the bone
Tairrie B Murphy
Tairrie B Murphy is the singer Californian hardrock / metal band My Ruin. My Ruin has recently released the new album ‘Ghosts and Good Stories’. For more information see: www.myspace.com/myruin