I’m staring at my glass of iced tea. Half sweet, half unsweet — a wishy-washy southerner thing to do, they say. Oddly enough, it is so delicious and is covering the heaviness of a day spent running in circles.
There are the people that see right through me. I know they do. They’ve seen me change from quiet to awkward to strong and have helped me pick up more than my fair share of jetsam and flotsam.
I always love that picture in my mind. A shore, with the tide fading, leaving behind the things it decided to discard for a day. Shells and plastic bags and all sorts of shit.
That’s what it feels like.
In my heart there is a forever exhausted thing. That thing reads the news and sees the horrific acts of people.
God, I want to be stronger. Something feels wrong about this stuff just sort of, rolling off my sleeve like it’s nothing. It is actually quite something and it digs into me like some sort of awful animal.
Like anything, it is laced with hope and strong people pulling themselves and others out of the despair and brushing off their pants. “Let’s go again.”
Getting older, those truths are starting to settle in a bit more. My younger days of dreaming to be a wild revolutionary are fuzzy. I am conflicted with my own actions and the actions of those I used to see as heroes.
I am settling in the imperfectness.
The broken belovedness.
We had a tornado rip through a big part of our city a few months ago, and I found myself very close to it — hiding in the doorway of my bedroom and kitchen. It was loud and the trees were cracking and bending around me.
I was lucky, but hundreds were not, and lost their homes and peace of minds and routines.
I sat there and wondered what it might be like to lose my life here. Alone, in a funky green and brown cottage. I still think about it. In a way, sort of gambling. I questioned my life in the midst of a storm and I think that is all it ever actually really is.
Being a human is painful. There are nerves and bones and water. We are always being pulled by someone, somewhere. Then there is that pain of being pulled by a human into the very depths of their soul. It is a heaven and sometimes it is a hell. A pure and good example of human love — and when that love ultimately shifts, that separation can feel much like its own hell.
Love anyone, and you will know this.
So, you take the broken pieces, and put them back together. Never as perfect as it was, or will ever be. Your hopes of keeping this whole piece yours and safe is gone.
Kintsugi is the Japanese art of embracing the damage of an object. When cracks are mended, they are highlighted in gold. I’m sure you’ve heard of it before. It is hard to lose a whole piece of something, especially when it’s so important to you.
Sometimes it breaks and you store it away in some dark corner of your life.
And sometimes, you choose to bring it out and examine. The hairline cracks, leading on to the bigger breaks that ultimately brought you to your knees. Repairing an object is acceptance. It is knowing that it will not be the same as it was.
That’s why it’s so powerful. Examining brokenness. Not only repairing, but highlighting. Saying, “THIS! THIS IS HOW IT’S BROKEN!”
You discover that brokenness is a gift that lets others see into your life, that they too can heal and mend and move.
We break, and we become whole again, all the time and forever.
Life and breath is forgiveness and grace.
This is how you are broken.
But your pieces are still beautiful,
forever and ever.