One beautiful summer night not so long ago, while spending a lovely evening with some girlfriends, I showed them this photograph. I then asked them to tell me the 1st thing they saw.
The answers varied, as each of them noticed something a bit different. I got everything from ”The sunlight shining through the leaves”, “Shades of green”, “The little orange flower” and finally, ”A broken pot”. The question was then turned on me when one of them asked, ”Why, what do you see?”
My reply was… “I see myself”.
Everyone got very quiet for a moment then stared at the photo again. I couldn’t help but smile as one of them squinted, as though she was looking for me lurking somewhere in the background.
But I was right there, front and center. I was the clay pot with the big crack down the middle. I quickly pointed out that I’d chosen to see myself as “cracked” versus “broken”.
I explained to my dear friends that when I’d taken this photograph, 2 things immediately came to mind. 1st, my favorite quote by Leonard Cohen: “There is a Crack in Everything, That’s How The Light Gets In”. 2nd, how this lovely clay pot looked so peaceful basking in the sunlight, surrounded by greenery, flowers and good energy. To me it appeared perfectly content to be just as it was, yet to someone else it looked broken.
This led us to a very interesting Wine assisted discussion about the ways in which we see ourselves and our imperfections. How self acceptance isn’t always easy to come by because so many of us view our flaws as these big negatives, rather than as something different or unique.
We were well into our second bottle of Wine, when it was determined that perfection was highly over rated. Who was holding the yardstick measuring what was deemed as damaged or in need of fixing? (On that note, I may have just dated myself…do they even make yardsticks anymore)?
We also agreed that we are often far too hard on ourselves…that our imperfections are a valid and interesting part of who we are…and that Leonard Cohen was a lyrical genius who understood everything there was to know about real life.
By our 3rd bottle of Wine, it was unanimously decided that I was a self proclaimed crack pot (lol).
Our wine infused conversation that night was kept lighthearted and filled with laughter, and yet it was also deep and very meaningful. One of my favorite questions came from the friend who had seen “a broken pot”. It stayed with me long after our evening ended and it’s one I continue to think about.
She asked…“Is it too far of a stretch to see our flaws as being part of what makes us fabulous?”
I certainly hope not, because I like to believe we can still be perfectly ok…even on the days we may not feel we are in one piece.
For today friends…this is The World As Eye See It
“Broken vessels full of joy.” I read that phrase recently in a book. I’m encouraged that, fractured and rubbed raw as I sometimes feel, I am always capable of bringing a little more light into the world. Amen!