In the bathroom, I noticed that the small vase on the pedestal sink had broken. It lay in pieces while the plant it once held in water splayed like a dying fish whose gills move in slow silent puffs of suffocation. I asked my son who was just outside the room staring at his phone or iPad or another electronic brainwasher if he knew what happened to the vase. Brilliant as he is, he told me it broke. I asked him if he broke it and indeed, he had. When I inquired as to why he didn’t clean up the broken glass he responded with a casual, “I forgot.”
I probably should have prefaced this story by saying my son is not three. I have teenage boys, not toddlers – although there are remarkable similarities. I wasn’t upset that he broke the vase. I am at the point in my life that when something breaks, I think “great that is one less thing I have to ask myself about whether it sparks joy.” Not having to answer the question that made Marie Kondo a household name, certainly sparks joy. So, the broken vase wasn’t the issue.
At issue, is how obvious it was to me that there was an issue when in between the time span that he presumably washed his hands and turned off the faucet he seemingly forgot to see shattered glass and a wounded plant. The incident reminded me how in our increasingly polarized society people only see what they want – the rest they just forget about. Read more
I ran into a tree –with my face. When I mentioned this to my mother, she assumed it was with my car and I spent some time pondering whether that indicated she gave me too much credit or not enough.
I was walking down the sidewalk looking left because even though I’ve been told my entire life to watch where I am going, it seems as if all the interesting things are either to the left or right. To my left, a woman clothed in pajamas was begging a tow truck driver to remove the boot from her car. I was immersed in their interaction when the tree attacked me. The assault wasn’t like the one in the Poltergeist movie where the tree wrapped people in its python-like branches. It was a knock in the face so hard that my earring popped out and I had to sit on the sidewalk for a minute and say bad words while trying not to cry. Not sure which kind of tree attack is worse.
I have small cuts on my jaw and ear that can easily be covered with makeup and hair. It annoys me that they look so minor when hours later I can still feel the throb from the jarring hit. It seems like I should have an imprint of bark on my face or a dangling ear, but sadly, I look relatively normal. It made me think about the wounds we carry and how the ones that hurt the most are often unseen. This pulsating pain walks with us no matter which direction we are headed. Few know the extent of our injuries and sometimes we too ignore the ache of our wounds. We try to be tough. We try to move on. We think the heart heals as intuitively as our bodies do from injury or sickness. We assume healing will just happen without acknowledgment or effort the way bruises fade from darkness into nothingness. Yet our hearts were not made for darkness and nothingness. They were made for love and the consequences of that ability to stretch and surmount and pour out and let in — is a vulnerability to being hurt. Jesus knew this. He loved unequivocally and it motivated his willingness to suffer for us so that we could also know great love.