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Dull Knives

Occasionally, I refer back to the notes section of my phone to see what half written sentences might turn into inspiration.

This is an excerpt from January 7, 2021 at 12:31 AM.

Cutting up an onion for dinner one night with the same tiny blue paring knife that everyone warns me not to use because of its dullness, when it slips and slices my thumb.

I shake my head, stop the (very minor) bleeding, and get a bandaid.

A night later, I’m brushing my teeth when I notice what can now only be described as a minor knick on my thumb. “That’s why I use dull knives,” I tell myself, feeling justified by my decision to use the tiny knife over the sharp.

“If I used sharp knives,” I decide, “surely, my cut would be worse.” Satisfied, I move to flossing my teeth. “But there’s got to be more to this. There’s got to be a moral here. What is it…”

That’s when I’m hit with an old saying that’s remained tucked away in some unused corner of my brain.

“Hey quick question,” I say, “are dull knives more likely to cut you than sharp ones?”

“Yes, very much so.”

And it hits me that maybe I think I’m doing something to protect myself. I’m doing what’s safe and what’s comfortable. I am sure I am being smart.

But sharp knives are safer.

Ten+ months later, I wonder what dull knives I’m holding on to. Is it about choosing the hurt you know? Is it about convincing yourself you’re being smart when you know you aren’t? Is it about being stubborn and stuck in your ways when clearly there are better options? Is it about habits and routines that no longer serve us?

Sometimes I read these notes from a past Liz and wonder where I was going with it. Brushing my teeth at the midnight hour and thinking I’d stumbled upon something profound… where was that going? What is the big story? Perhaps that’s for each of us to figure out on our own and in our own time. Or perhaps we just owe ourselves an honest reflection of the dull knives in our lives. And an honest commitment to change them for the better.

Love always,



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