If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m not exactly sure why I chose that title up there. It could be as simple as the fact that Hamilton lyrics have been my constant if variable earworms since last spring, and this is the one that’s been running through my head since I first read the Just Jot It January and Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt for today, “glass.” Linda assured us we could use the word as we see fit, or even use an object made of glass as our theme.
But I keep hearing Lin-Manuel Miranda’s plaintive, dubious little “Raise a glass to freedom,” right before he famously throws away his shot, and the mood feels – right.
So does this little post I wrote a year or so back, and titled “Schrodinger’s Glass” – you know, the one that’s always either half-full, or half-empty, depending on how you look at it, or your nature, or your current mood…because, really, it’s both.
I’m thinking I may not be making much sense, but that’s also kind of how I feel, right now, so maybe it fits. I’m a bit like shards of broken glass, and a bit like fine glasswork that steals breath away even as it inspires. I’m aware of the dangers of sharp-edged, jagged fragments, and yet I’m filled nearly to overflowing with the beauty and potential I see, the grace that moves through everything.
Once, I wrote a story where one character destroys a handmade water service gifted to another character. It was a thing of irreplaceable beauty – the maker had learned, practiced, and developed her skill in the art to honor the recipient and his family. The owner of the service carefully gathers up every shard, although they slice his fingers, and carries them a great distance, as treasured items. Later, he fashions them into a symbolic piece of art that gives them a new and deeper meaning.
I feel like that – like that’s maybe where we are, as a nation.
It’s possible that some don’t know it yet. It’s possible that the crashing and shattering happening now is music to some people’s ears, the dream they’ve held dearest to their hearts.
But for many, it’s the kind of shattering that sets you back, makes you re-evaluate…
I’ve been doing that, quietly, for over a year, now. Threads of different things braiding or weaving together, fraying, coming together again in a new form – and yes, I know I’m mixing metaphors here, but, somehow, that, too, seems appropriate.
I’m becoming something different- evolving. In Sequoia National Park, so long ago that I wasn’t yet anybody’s mother who wasn’t feline, my Accomplice and I learned that the seeds of the giant trees need fire to germinate properly. There’s a scientific name for this, but that’s not as important, to me, right now, as that truth – the magnificent sequoia, which holds such majesty and tenacity as it stretches to the sky on a widely-flung, shallow collection of roots, springs from the destruction of its landscape. Only in the charred aftermath is it set free to fulfill its magnificent destiny, in the company of its scarred and surviving parents, who have the ability to withstand the flames.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that this is how I feel, today…like there’s been a shattering, a scorching, a fraying – but that it hasn’t destroyed me, or the light of grace and mercy and simple, loving kindness in the world. I’m scarred, but still, I stretch, and soar, and grow…and I know that I’m not alone.
We are a strong forest, together. Will you grow with me, and find the beauty that comes after the flames?
Before you go, I will ask you if you have a story you want to share, or words of wisdom? Gouts of flame, torrents of sorrow, jolts of fear? Hope and a way forward that will embrace us all?
I’d love to hear from you. We’re all strongest when we have a voice, and use it to speak our truth. Please come back anytime you need to use yours, and, in the meantime, visit Diana at Part Time Monster Blog, and find some other places you can enjoy the #weekendcoffeeshare.