“What is the condition of your heart?”
There is a beautiful glass bowl sitting on the table in the sunlight. It is large and deep, swirled with color. The colors are deep and vivid and beautiful. The bowl is heavy, made of thick glass…Sturdy and strong. The sunlight glinting off of it throws colors around the otherwise black and dirty room.
Inside the bowl, you will find the small, slivered, shattered pieces of my heart. They are tiny, sharp shards of myself and my life and my love and who I used to be. They are all mixed together. I store them here until I’m done sifting through the ashes of what was once and I am sure I’ve gathered all then pieces that are left.
The shards are sharp. They are black, covered in soot and ashes. The soot and ashes are from when my life was burned to the ground. Some have blood on them from where I cut my fingers on their painful edges when I touched them.
I spend my days sifting through the ashes. I pick up handfuls of it and look for any recognizable slivers of myself, of my heart. I’m oh so careful. Each shard is a painful treasure. I often sort while looking through tears. The memories and the grief and the sorrow for what was lost are agonizing. Each piece I find is torture and relief, all at once.
I cherish these pieces. I know they are what I will begin to rebuild with. These are the pieces of me that can’t be destroyed. I don’t want to overlook a single one. So, I am meticulous about sweeping the ashes of my former life into a pile and sifting. Each tiny piece I find is lovingly and carefully placed in the beautiful bowl.
The hope is that the colors in the bowl will somehow bring the pieces back to life. That they will absorb the beauty and life in the sunlight and color. My life has been shades of black and gray for almost 9 months now. The colors are a welcome beauty in the desolation.
I feel like I’ve found nearly every piece that is left. It is nearly time. Nearly time to ever so gently wash away the dirt and ashes and blood and soot. To allow the light to once again touch the pieces of my shattered heart. Then I will begin to put it back together…tiny piece by tiny piece.
I will rebuild my heart and my life. The pieces will go back together differently and there are parts that didn’t survive the shattering. My heart will not look the same as it did before. But it will mean more to me. I will value it more. Mostly because of the price I paid to have it.
It will be full of color and hope and strength. The Japanese put broken things back together with gold and believe it makes them more valuable. They believe things that have been broken or have scars are not something to hide. They believe they should be displayed with pride.
So, once my heart is put back together and the cracks are filled with gold, I will proudly show it to people. I will tell the story of how it shattered, how I recovered the pieces, how my fingers bled as I put it back together and how beautiful I think it is. I will share it. I will tell people how much I value it. I will tell others about the cost I paid to have it.
It’s still in black, bloody pieces in the bowl. I know there will be more pain and agony in the putting it back together. However, there is hope in that bowl. Hope doesn’t always look like you expect. But when I look in the bowl at what is left of my heart, I know that what’s really in that bowl is hope for my future.