In the apartment where I live above the church there is a room I have converted into a home office. Late in the day the sun shines in directly, inflating the area with a searing light. The other afternoon, I walked in to find that a framed print had fallen off the wall and splintered glass all over the floor. With the sun gleaming into the space it was strangely beautiful – like looking at a frozen surface in the sun. The picture must have toppled from a wall shelf, smashed into the corner of my desk and then flipped onto the floor. As I began to carefully collect the shards of glass, I found the actual print underneath the glimmering rubble – the fall had scratched the surface and marred it irreparably.
Normally my custom would be to discard something broken and unsightly. However, I cannot seem to part with the print. It cannot be replaced and it is precious to me for a multitude of reasons. For someone who has a reverence for the perfection of beauty I find myself conflicted about how to proceed. And I have been reflecting on the preservation of those characteristics and experiences that are irregular and damaged. How we train ourselves to bury unpleasant memories, edit unattractive history and discard that which is unappealing or unpleasant. In growing older, I am discovering an interest in the transparency of the wound. I am surprisingly willing to look directly into those imperfect elements of my life and discover that same honesty refreshingly attractive in others.
I suppose I am considering having the scratched print reframed and rehung and along with it the jagged pieces of my past and present. After all, there is a kind of beauty even when something is shattered, like pieces of ice shining in the sun.“We are all wonderful, beautiful wrecks. That’s what connects us – that we’re all broken, all beautifully imperfect” ~ Emilio Estevez “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” ~Marilyn Monroe