A Man, Unalike

Loveliness, robust,
A beauty so strong,
Inexhaustible vessel
Of art and of song.

Hope formidable,
A vision sanguine,
Devotion unshakeable,
Tenderness unseen.

Generous lover,
Instinctively warm,
Protector and nurturer
Of future transformed.

A man unalike,
None other could be
My partner, unexpected,
Created for me.

Winter Slumber

Winter’s icy freeze

Preserves nature’s splendors

In translucent silver encasings.

Glass needles and crystal branches

Threaten to fall and shatter the quietude.

Firs dressed in gleaming ball gowns

Fill the expanse with majesty.

Prickly burrs transformed to delicate roses

Are offered to those who pass and stare

At what lies beneath the magnifying glass.

Creatures clambering on glassy tightropes

And a lone crow sitting atop a silvery tower

Navigate the foreign slippery landscape.

All appears resilient in this metallic sheathing,

Seemingly under glacial hibernation:

This, a fleeting promise of immortality.

Ice_Rose(c)1

Photo courtesy of Eats Writes Shoots

Broken and Beautiful

We are all broken.

Life is full of beautiful, wonderful experiences. It is also inevitably peppered by challenge and difficulty; that seasoning being heavier for some than others. Our struggles may have marred our childhoods, adolescences, adulthoods, or all of the above. Arguably, some of the most severely impacted are those who had abusive childhoods or experienced profound illness or the death of someone close to them. The most jarring trials frequently involve pain and damage caused by those we love – parents, spouses, etc. We surface with baggage: insecurity, self-doubt, disappointment, anxiety, mistrust, heartache, unforgiveness, anger, resentment, and so on. In short, we emerge broken.

One of the themes I’ve consistently written about is the concept of finding opportunity in our struggles. I believe that while none of us wants to struggle or experience pain, we always have a choice in the way we deal with those challenges. We get to choose our reactions and our actions. We may use our adverse circumstances to induce lessons learned, or we can hide them deep inside us and allow the pain to poison us. I want to take this notion a step further.

We all have brokenness – our life’s struggles cannot and should not be compared; we are all different and are all impacted differently by what we experience. Still, we can look at the similarities and bonds that connect us rather than judging one another. When used for good, for positive change, for building relationships, for creating opportunity, our brokenness is not all for naught. Our brokenness can in fact become beautiful.

The Japanese art of Kintsugi involves repairing cracked, broken pottery using molten gold. The Japanese believe that the damaged pottery, with its mended fractures and breaks, is even more beautiful and valuable than before. This is a very meaningful metaphor for each of our lives, and the scars and cracks in our beings which result from our ordeals. In giving ourselves the permission to work through and heal from those trials, we may in fact emerge stronger and more complete than before.

kinstugi

In order to utilize the pain of our circumstance to create beauty, we must find repair; healing, forgiveness, growth. We must also accept in ourselves and each other the reality and asset of our brokenness. In our lives, we can benefit from these two choices to catalyze amazing transformation.

As imperfect human beings, we are so often afraid to face and share our brokenness, even though none of us is complete and faultless. We set unattainable expectations of ourselves and each other. I have long felt that when we seek and choose positive and effective relationships, we find the strength to heal and the desire to grow, but this starts with openness and communication, which takes time and comfort. These uplifting and bolstering relationships can be of any type, but ultimately we should ideally choose to share our lives with people with whom we can be ourselves, and who bestow upon us acceptance and support. And, in the context of a romantic partnership, an ideal mate accepts us without judgment and loves us in our brokenness; helps us to see our value, encourages us to aspire to change and greatness. This is very different than a mate who demands change, who points at our weaknesses and brokenness and calls us inadequate. Rather, it is a choice we make for ourselves; to want to be better and have better for ourselves, and that desire is based on love and acceptance. We are pushed to be extraordinary.

Perhaps we were never meant to be flawless and uninjured – we can use our experience and pain and turn it into wisdom and opportunity. In embracing our flaws and imperfection, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, we can uncover profound beauty and value within ourselves, and discover opportunity to achieve the successes and attitudes we strive for. In our restoration, we are stronger and more precious than before.

Perhaps we were never meant to be complete and self-sufficient – in sharing our pain and experience with others and accepting our need for them, we exchange this wisdom, offer acceptance and inspire evolution and advancement in our own and others’ lives. And, not only do we grow and nurture others, we benefit these relationships with deep intimacy, too.

We are beautiful in our brokenness.

Sunset over Heaven

Soaring high above the earth,
Ephemeral, rippling clouds collect densely
And appear like vast, snowy fields.
The sun sets on the dimming horizon,
Illuminating the clouds with a multi-hued glow.
The interminable sky is painted deep amber,
Transitory in its impassioned radiance.
Removed from the world below,
A deep peace is captured within;
Fleeting, perhaps, as darkness supersedes the light,
Yet heavenly in the moment.

Of snowflakes and human beings

Yesterday, I took a photo of the frozen ice and snow crystals on my car. It was magnificent. I’ve posted the photo below.

I analyzed this as I drove. How perfect conditions must be as they come together to produce such beautiful patterns, perfect in their loveliness but also in their randomness. If not one snowflake is the same as another, how mind-bogglingly infinite are the possibilities of what can be produced by the frozen water molecules we so take for granted. And, while some of us who appreciate nature stop to enjoy such physical manifestations of its complexity, we forget that human beings are even more amazing. Though we try our best to be like others, we are not. Each of us is unique – our DNA, the physiological manifestation of this genetic expression, our personalities, our creativity, our feelings, our totality. How perfect are circumstances that made you, made me, just the way we are and still, with the capacity to grow and change, unlike the snowflake that just is. Oh God, we are so beautiful.

20131201-215038.jpg