The other day I broke my ceramic sphere. A purely decorative thing, it was glazed a rich blue with white daisies painted on it. It sat atop a table in my garden, and I tried to move the table – just a little – with the sphere on top. Predictably, it rolled to the ground and shattered with a fantastic noise on the rocks.
I have endured enough of life’s difficulties to take these small tragedies in stride. After yelping an expletive or two, more because I was startled than upset, I shrugged my shoulders and began gathering the shards. This was an opportunity to examine the heretofore unseen inside of the sphere – a glimpse at something the would have stayed forever hidden had the globe remained intact.
I did experience a surge of frustration, though fleeting, toward myself. I’d been careless, even reckless. It was annoying to think that I’d done nothing to prevent such an obvious mishap. Laziness had won out over caution.
But that was all. I didn’t lament the end of the sphere’s “spherical-ness.” The pieces are still quite pretty, I mused as I gathered them from among the stones where they’d fallen. There is something poignant about a thing that is beautiful…and broken. The aesthetic now seems to mean more than when the blue ceramic ball was perfect.
I used to believe that things had to be whole to be okay. Something broken was a loss that I felt acutely. Even a wine glass splintered in the kitchen sink could evoke strong feelings of remorse. These days, my values are a little different. I’m not so invested in things staying perfect…or staying at all. Everything has an end.
I arranged the broken pieces of the sphere in a potted plant, where they form a mosaic of cobalt blue. They look quite stunning among the petunias. I’m not sure, but I just might like them better this way.