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Feb
08

Beyond, Where Beauty Lies

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This morning the winter rain and wind beat down on the roof. The day promised more wet than dry and more gusts than calm. Rain does not stop plans in southeast Alaska. Here in the rainforest environment, folks know the only issue with poor weather is poor dressing. Wear the right clothes and not much can impede the day’s plans. Similarly, in the southeast of the U.S. a good snow or ice storm raises havoc, but locals know that the only issue for poor weather is poor planning to get enough milk and bread.

Beyond the expectations of weather, there is an expectation in life to go somewhat as planned, as dreamed, and as prepared for. Yet, life like weather can change dramatically and there are times when the only issue becomes, how do I see beyond this place?

As I began to settle in to a new space for a few months, I unwrapped some dishes. In my haste or clumsiness, one of my bowls slipped from my hands and broke into three pieces. Anger was my first reaction, but as I bent to retrieve the broken pottery, I paused. The broken shapes with sharp edges and exposed clay still held beauty. The colors of blue and green which drew me to the bowl in the first place remained. The ornate sides still existed—albeit in pieces. Soon my anger was replaced with awe because even in the broken places there was still reason to marvel at the colors, the textures, even the way each piece arranged itself by accident on the floor.

I placed the broken bowl on the windowsill and looked out at the mountains, but they were hidden behind the veil of fog and clouds. I could only trust that I would see them again in their full glory on a sun-filled day. But in that moment, I still recalled the splendor of those mountains—where thick layers of snow capped the tips and the trees below were sprinkled white. More than that, I could see how the swirls of clouds and the spray of rain created its own stunning backdrop.

Maybe that’s the way it is—lives filled with unclear days and shattered fragments of what once was whole. Perhaps the issue is how we come to view the broken pieces of our lives. That they can still offer slivers of beauty beyond the clouds and scattered shards.

2 comments

  1. kristen says:

    i love this! “lives filled with unclear days and shattered fragments of what once was whole. Perhaps the issue is how we come to view the broken pieces of our lives. That they can still offer slivers of beauty beyond the clouds and scattered shards.”

  2. Robert Rose says:

    The potter must get accustomed to his creations coming apart, sometimes dramatically, seemingly before their time. Each piece has a life of its own, birthed from the potters hands yet now to live through its own existence. Whether it remains intact or shatters, it follows its course, without regret for it knows not anything other than whatever is. In witnessing this, the potter learns that his own course also has a life of its own, beyond what he thinks or desires, whether intact or shattered there is cause for no regret, for there is always a full potential for integrity. It’s the same as with his pottery; integrity comes when there is no knowing for anything other than what is. What is this which just is?

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