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.
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Very real and inspirational! I was feeling down today but your story helped me process the emotion. You have described it beautifully! You are an amazing writer-keep writing always!
I like this one very much Hannah, this is poignant, this is gritty and very real.
This one was very emotional for me, I was exploring some heavy thoughts that day. I’m glad you found something of mine that could speak to you ♥️
Just amazing <3
Hannah what a story. I think it was almost too smart for Reedsy. That’s the only explanation for it not at least short listing. The paragraphs came like waves one after the other hardly giving enough time to recover from the last one. You should submit this to some other contests. It’s that good.
😭❤️ thank you so much, Lee! Really, that means a lot to me. I put a lot of thought into this one. You’re so kind.
Simply beautiful! Thank you for that 🙏🏾
They say they want me back, but I think they are not interested in the girl named Mila. I think they are not interested in the girl named Olivia. I think they are interested in the dolphin girl, only the dolphin girl. All my life with humans it will be this way. I will always be the dolphin girl. The humans will be curious the way the dolphin is curious about a piece of garbage floating on the sea. A thing to play with, a thing to drag and toss around, but in the end a thing to leave behind. - Karen Hesse, The Music of Dolphins Your sto...
Beautifully written! So much passion and emotion in this. Love it! I love the ending: We were made of glass, to be kissed by the sun. Refracting the light. Bending the bow of God across the sky. 🌈❤️
thank you, Sharon! the ending was the hardest part for me, I worried I didn't do enough, so I appreciate your kind words <3
Beautiful story. "We are delicate like glass. We get broken". I like these words because they are true. We are not made to follow rules like a robot. We are curious beings and made to break the rules,but we never "own" up to breaking them in the first place. We point fingers at somebody else. It's never our fault that we faltered. Maybe we were never meant to be perfect just imperfect.
I'm so glad you enjoyed the story :) I've been told that I live rather recklessly with my heart, but it's the only way I know how. I think we want to feel, and if that means we are imperfect, then so be it! thank you so much for reading <3
Your story is so beautiful! The poetic language and imagery throughout made it even more beautiful to read!
Katelin, I’m so glad you enjoyed it, I went a little “out there” with this take on the topic, so I appreciate your encouragement!
This is amazingly beautiful... I'm beyond impressed and I adore this whole piece of writing - literary fiction at its finest. Beautiful, beautiful beautiful... Sorry, I'm being over the top but I love it so much! My absolute favourite parts: "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 some crave the warmth of the hands whose fingers the...
Riel! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, and you are not being over the top, I needed this affirmation. I struggle sometimes with doubting myself as writer, so your words meant so much to me! ❤️
Your writing is beautifully poetic in this piece. The way you started out, with short, sharp little sentences, really enhances the “glass” imagery, and the last two lines are really nice.
Thank you, Cindy! I’m so glad you enjoyed it, I was definitely going with a more poetic feel 😊❤️
Oops, I just realized I had forgotten to “like” it!😬 I have done so now!😊
Oh my gosh. You must have read my mind! I was going to write a story this week about the fall! That’s so crazy! Now I can’t but wow your story is great. I love the lines “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.” ...
Maggie! Please write your story about the fall, I would LOVE to read it! and thank you so much, I've been reading "Hava: The Story of Eve" by Tosca Lee, so this has been on my mind lately. I appreciate you taking the time to give me some comments! <3
I really enjoy your writing style. Beautiful words. Keep it up! What are your plans for writing a novel? I’ve never read that one but we’re studying genesis right now in church and last week we went through the fall so it was on my mind too. That’s too funny. :)
you are so kind, I truly appreciate that! Funnily enough, I've never written a religious/spiritual NOVEL, but I have done several short stories. perhaps I will one day try to publish a collection? Oh! I highly recommend that book! She has another about Genesis called "Demon" (don't let the title scare you) it's a beautiful look at the story of Creation and our relationship with Hashem!
I’ll check those out! 🤗 thank you!
Hannah - I posted my story for this week… it’s not about the fall. But let me know what you think if you get a moment. :)