Friday, December 23, 2011

profoundly flawed

Like the exceptional excerpts I've posted here from time to time, quotes will occasionally strike me as not only worthy of memory, but profound for the ability of a given phrase to completely capture an emotion or a fundamental truth about life or love or loss and to capture it in an image that one can't quite forget. I stumbled onto this one today and thought I'd put it in my blog so I wouldn't lose it. It's rather perfect and powerful in its simplicity even if flawed as I'll explain following the quote.

"I was never one to patiently pick up broken fragments and glue them together again and tell myself that the mended whole was as good as new. What is broken is broken --and I'd rather remember it as it was at its best than mend it and see the broken places as long as I lived."

--Margaret Mitchell

I read this and I picture a vase falling from a mantle and resting in pieces in the floor. It is very true that the best thing to do with that vase is to throw the pieces away and replace it with a new one, particularly when putting it back together with glue would not not only require too much work, but when it would leave the vase looking damaged or irreparably fragile.

But, what if the vase is an antique, part of a set of World War I china that your grandmother's first love brought back from the war? It was unique and beautiful and it held its own on the mantle among the other flashier and newer pieces. It can't be replaced. It can't be. Mending it is all one can do...that is, if the vase is this kind of vase, the kind you won't likely find again even if a duplicate exists out there in the world. So you pick up those pieces and you glue them back together. You do this so others can see the scarred beauty of the vase. That way, no one forgets it was there once upon a time on the mantle and that it was glorious.

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