I would have been about 12-years old when the pain began. I went back and forth to the doctors every month, so much so that the doctors put me on the pill that year to try and avoid periods completely.
Life went on and I had been on the pill for 15 years when I felt something wasn’t quite right. I was 27 years old and had very little in my life that brought me real happiness. After leaving University I had moved to Sydney and begun living a very lush lifestyle of partying as a way to cover up a deep inner emptiness. I was in the finance industry where everyone played hard and partied hard. This was a new world for me.
Matt Callanan is a true inspiration. He has taken a life scar and made it mean something. Matt was a real pleasure to interview. Take a read and he'll tell you how a random connection with George Clooney and Bill Murray led him on a path of taking his Dad's legacy of kindness and helping the world remember that each of us can do even the smallest acts to change the world @wemakegood happen
Matt was Interviewed by author of the @madebeautifulbyscars project Veronica Farmer
When tough things happen most men go within to deal with it. That can lead to depression or anger when you get lost in that dark man cave trying to work it all out by yourself. I think that is a real problem in our world.
My Dad died too young, he was only 58 years old. There are 5 grandkids he has never met and that’s a real shame. My sister brought her wedding forward when he was sick so he could be there, but Dad missed my wedding and my brothers too, important key moments I wished he had been part of.
Images by @elizabethkinnaird
I was working as a lawyer in Sydney. On paper I should have been happy. I had a great job. I lived in a beautiful part of the world and I had nice things. The driving force to go into law was to help people and make a difference. But my health was suffering, I was feeling unfulfilled and disconnected, and I was starting to ask questions about whether life had a greater purpose, when I was hit by a car.
I was a pedestrian. On a pedestrian crossing. A taxi came around a corner, and cleaned me up. The impact was intense and I travelled on the bonnet screaming for him to stop. It took some time, but when he finally did, I was thrown off, launching at speed towards the tar.
George H. Lewis is an internationally acclaimed British artist, painter, photographer and speaker known for his exhibits over wide areas of the UK, Europe, the US and the Middle East. In 2016, George lectured at the United Nations on the intersection of art, science, mysticism and spirituality. Recently, George shared his story with Veronica Farmer author of Made Beautiful by Scars.
Image of George H. Lewis by Peter Warrick @peterwarrickphotographer
I was born an artist. I am a communicator and in some way I have no choice but to create the images that I do. I grew up in Cornwall, the west of England on the Coast. This is a place full of wild magic. My parent’s farm lies next to Tintagel Castle where King Arthur once lived.
I have always been an Outsider looking in on society. Consequently, as a child I internalized everything as I had no mentors. I grew up in a male dominated world from the age of seven at an all-boys boarding school, where emotion was considered feminine and weak. But perhaps having had that sort of life meant that I had a great desire to go out and carve my own experiential world. I thought to support others and support humanity in all its guises. I refused to accept that I would live an uninspiring life, where becoming old by 50 was the norm.
Interviewed by Veronica Farmer
Tramp Stamp The latest single by Kane and his band 19-Twenty
It was exactly nine years ago. I was 21 years old and we were on the last leg of a tour that my buddy and I were doing together. We were about to finish with playing for the first festival we had been booked for called “Blues on Broadbeach.” Travelling in a Toyota Camry, we were on our way through Roma and that’s when it all went wrong.
We were going about 100 kilometres on the highway through a great stretch of boring black strip road. Coming from the opposite direction were an elderly couple, they had just picked up a caravan, about to embark on their own grey-nomad adventure. They were starting out on their travel around Australia as we were ending ours.
All of a sudden they lost control of the caravan and as they were inexperienced with it, they hit the brakes which began to swing the car all over the place. They came into our lane and BOOM! Total chaos.
Interviewed by Veronica Farmer, photography by www.michelepocknee,com
The theme of my life has been to uncover what it means to be a man in this world. To look at all the ways we are taught how to be and to finally ask – what is actually true for me, and for other men I see struggling out there. I’m only part way through this life experience but as I look back I can see that each of the life scars I have walked through have taught me a great deal.
I grew up in a Pentecostal Christian house with real fear of hell and damnation. When I was born, I had a seven-year old brother. Something about my arrival I think made him feel replaced and I spent most of my early life with my fists up in battles with him. Because of the work I have done recently to understand emotions, I have been able to sit with him and tell him that I now understand how he must have felt as a kid, and tell him that I love him as my big brother.
I was 13 years old and on the soccer field one day when a shooting leg pain took me out of the game. I had been noticing an intermittent pain for a while, but thought it must have just been growing pains. The next day I was standing in front of the physiotherapist and she pointed out that the muscle on my right leg had wasted away. I could tell that she thought there was something very wrong with that.
An x-ray showed that the texture of the bone in my right hip wasn’t smooth like it was meant to be. Soon after that, an MRI confirmed a tumour. I remember my mother’s reaction – she burst into tears, looked terrified and I started feeling scared. At the time, my youngest brother was only 6 months old, I had three brothers and my diagnosis kind of took over our family life.
Interviewed by Veronica Farmer, Story by Raku One O'Gaia, Photography by Michele Pocknee
If there’s a single key to my whole life’s journey then it would have to be my quest to solve the riddle of ‘personal identity.’ A lot of us question identity as teenagers, we ask what role we want to play in the world and we kick out at every boundary we see trying to find how we fit into that space we call life. My questions were like that and deeper still in that they didn’t stop with the acquisition of houses, cars, marriage, kids and so forth...
I have many scars. Some physical, that have marked my body forever, and others that have scored my mind and heart. At times these scars have pulled me down to dark places and they have also raised me to the highest place of determined strength.
I am who I am because of them.
When I was 16 years old it felt like my world ended. My Mum lost her long battle with breast cancer after 5 long years of suffering. As her cancer consumed her body, it consumed our family. I did what I could to pretend that I was living a normal teenage life and spent a lot of time at my best friend’s house. It was hard to be at home with that much pain there and I don’t remember a lot about that time . It seems like such a blur, the brain does that when you are going through trauma to protect you.
I can remember the first time I tasted cocaine. A friend who picked me up for school everyday had brought me some to try right after a trip to New York City with the Art Seminar Class. A few of my friends and I were supposed to report to the Principal’s office that morning after getting into a bit of trouble while we were away. I got to school a little early and my friend handed me the tiniest zip lock bag and a pen cap. He told me to scoop up a little bit on the end of the pen cap, close the opposite nostril and sniff it up with one side.