Random thoughts from an animal-loving French prof / mom of three on things she finds beautiful, funny, sad, or strange.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Cracks in Everything

― Leonard Cohen

This is a post I have been mulling over since sometime last summer, when in the same morning, I ran across the above quote in two writers whom I absolutely admire and adore, Anne Lamott and Brené Brown. I know a sign when I see it (sometimes...), and this one was a much-needed wake-up call. In a nutshell, I realized that even with all life has taught me, I was still foolishly looking for an impossible flawlessness in my life and above all, myself.

So a couple of months later, here I am listening to "Anthem," writing this post, and thinking about how, contrary to popular belief, cracks are not flaws.

Would the Liberty Bell have a different sound without its iconic crack? Absolutely. Would it be a more beautiful sound? Perhaps. (Define "beautiful" first, though. Go on. I dare you.) But without the crack, would it be the Liberty Bell? Would it have the meaning for us that it does? 

Then there is cracked glass. I love cracked glass, the way it refracts light, blurs the lines of whatever lies on the other side, creating a different picture of the world. Sometimes there is such a thing as excessive smoothness, too much clarity. Cracked glass leaves room to dream.

Finally, what about the sky? Think of that moment just before the sun appears, that time when a bright line of golden fuchsia distinguishes the mountaintops from the heavens above.

Or those times when after days of clouds and rain, a strip of light cracks open the clouds and with them, the soul.

My task now is to remember this. Things are cracking all around me again, in my life and in the lives of people I love. This time, however, I'm not going to crack to pieces. I'm going to let myself crack open. That way, I can bathe in the light.

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