We’re all fragile.
Delicate little bits of glass.
Beautiful little bits of glass.
And somewhere along the line, we get broken. Everyone does.
It has to happen. How could it not happen?
When you’re so beautiful, and delicate, and fragile?
How can you hope to never break? It’s just part of life. At least, that’s what they tell me.
But It doesn’t start off that way. We aren’t born broken.
No. Just to be broken.
And they call it the curse of Adam.
Who quickly pointed his finger at the woman, as if he forgot the name of the one who he’d longed for in that single moment when the guilt had to be shifted.
And the mother of all pointed at the serpent, as if she prayed that the One who had seen her fall would simply crush the head of her enemy and she would once again be… blameless.
That single bite, that taste of rebellion, cut a tether to the divine that was meant to maintain a world of perfection.
But they had become Pandora, unleashing a wave that rippled across the galaxy, and echoed back across the eons. It’s frequency peaking, its amplitude mounting, til there was only one possible outcome.
And when that wave reached the generations of glass, its vibrations had exceeded the threshold.
And like the froth of the ocean when it slams against the shoreline, the glass people shattered.
Their foundations were shaken. Because, for the first time in their perfect lives, they looked into the face of their ultimate authority and answered, “I was afraid.”
And perfection was taken. And they were driven out with nothing but blood on their hands, and fear in their arms.
It’s the fear that has been our inheritance. The fear that is nestled with us from the womb, so that when we take that first breath of imperfect air, we cry.
But we don’t share that with each other. You’re supposed to feel the fear all by yourself, I guess. It’s another one of those unspoken rules that we eventually learn.
It goes right along with saying bless when someone sneezes, or sleeping on the sofa when you have a guest because you offer them your bed, or saying thank you when your grandma sends you an awful birthday present.
You keep your fear to yourself. No one has to tell you. You just understand.
But that doesn’t feel right.
It shouldn’t be part of those rules. Yet, somehow, it’s one of the first rules we learn. I think we learn it somewhere between listening to the don’t cry’s and the you’ll be ok’s. Somewhere around the be strong’s. You get the message. People know the pain is there.
People just don’t want to be so … aware of it.
But we are still aware. Even though we don’t want to be.
So we build up walls and hedges and bars around our beautiful little glass hearts, and they sit there in their fortresses, and hiding places, and … cages. Safe. Protected.
And we’ll never feel the slow bleed of betrayal, because the knives cannot pierce the walls, or hedges, or bars.
And we’ll never feel the fractures of loss creep across our delicate surfaces, because no one is there to first hold us close, and then watch us fall.
And we’ll never feel the tears paint humanity on our faces as they fall from eyes that fight their every desire to burst forth, because we won’t cry over anyone. Anything.
Or if we do, no one sees. So did it really happen?
And we look out at the unfettered and uncaged hearts that recklessly place themselves in arms and hands that will ultimately grow fickle or frail.
And they will slip from these same arms and hands, or be crushed in their desperate grasps. And we try to hold onto our scorn, and think “How could they be so foolish?” All the while, their hearts pulse with the warmth of touch, and feeling, all the while we stay perfectly protected and… cold.
And we shake our heads when they break, and shatter, and we watch their splintered shards glittering in the light.
And sometimes they just lay there.
And sometimes they pull themselves back together, though the pieces are never as flush and smooth as before, because you can’t sand the edges of their brokenness with promises.
And we wait, because perhaps now they have learned, and perhaps now they will join us in our safe isolation.
And some retreat into that solace, and wait for something or someone who can slide through their barriers like a spirit through the aether, because these walls can’t be wrecked, they have to be penetrated.
And some wear their jagged edges like a badge or a warning, knowing they can make you bleed if you reach too soon or hold them too close.
And some crave the warmth of the hands whose fingers they slip through, and the embrace of the arms where their dreams are crushed, so they wait in the sun for the touch or the embrace that will make all the cracks and fractures they gathered each time they shattered… worth it.
And we listen to the sidewalk prophets who raise their signs painted on dumpster cardboard, as they sing to drums tightened with dumpster wrenches. Quick to remind you, everyone will hurt you. Quick to admonish you, love them anyway.
And we carry their fortune cookie wisdom as we choose to shatter ourselves day after day.
And I’m the one who saves the slips of paper, stained with vanilla and oil.
And I'm the one, who picks up the shattered pieces of glass lying on the floor, and holds them close.
Because I know what it's like to be broken and thrown away.
We’re all fragile. But we weren’t made of glass to be shattered and left behind.
We were made of glass, to be kissed by the sun.
Refracting the light.
Bending the bow of God across the sky.