Almost from the beginning, I have regaled reader(s) with stories of my various falls, mishaps and the resultant bruises. But, since I ALWAYS have bruises (more than a dozen at the moment – just on my legs), I suppose it would be rather boring to mention them at all.

HOWEVER, I got a really striking (no pun intended) contusion last week. I barked my shin on something and thought, “That’s going to leave a mark.” This is, I suppose, a very common reflection of mine. But when I saw the resulting bruise, I have to admit that even I was impressed. It wasn’t so much the size (at it’s largest points, 4 1/2 inches wide and 2 5/8 inches long), but its remarkable likeness of something… I mused a while and then it struck me: I had South America on my leg. I’ve said before that my bruises resembled land masses, but never, so accurately and vividly, such a big ol’ continent.

It inspired me, in fact, to memorialize this injury, for all posterity, in an artistic fashion. In order to fit it on the page (and to precisely show the startling resemblance to South America), I had to flip the outline from horizontal to vertical (90° counter-clockwise, to be exact). And here it is:
Sometimes they DO say that art is pain.


Silver Sharpie® on 20 lb. All-Purpose Paper

I stuck to the outline, as I didn’t think I could capture the subtleties of the ever-changing hues and textures. Now, if you have a good memory, you may wonder why I would choose to render this important objet d’art with a Sharpie®, considering a particular incident in my past. Well, it was time to “get back on the horse,” so to speak. Besides, it’s PERMANENT marker (so I can preserve my contusion for time immemorial) and I used it on PLAIN PAPER.

Oh – by the way, I, Queen of Bruising OF THE WORLD, have found a great substance that actually helps bruises fade more quickly. It’s also supposed to help with pain, but I can’t really comment objectively on that, as I find that bruises mostly hurt when you poke them, and I haven’t done the necessary scientific pre- and post-medicinal poking of my bruises to give my opinion.

It’s Arnica (Arnica montana), also known as leopard’s bane. My favorite brand is Boiron Arnica Gel. It’s light and non-greasy (like it advertises – imagine that), and it doesn’t have a lot of extraneous junk in it.:
Available at your local drugstore or grocery store.

Arnica gel is also supposed to help with general bodily aches and stiffness. I haven’t tried it in this capacity. For muscle ache and such I like Tiger Balm:
It actually says on the package 'Not made from Tigers or Tiger parts.'

It’s titillating yet soothing. And – BOY – nothing will keep people at least ten feet away from you like the mighty “tang” (or “stench” – a matter of opinion) of Ultra-Strength Tiger Balm.