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Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Advantages of Being...


I think what is interesting in life is all the cracks and all the flaws and all the moments that are not perfect.”
Clemence Poesy

I have never been a collector. Yet, here I am in my dotage, making my living by selling other people's collections. It's always been kind of a mystery to me, to be truthful, why anyone wants three hundred Star Wars action figures that are never removed from their boxes and played with. Or sixty pairs of shoes still in their boxes with the cardboard inserts and stretchers. Or, as I am wading through right now, six large containers of Christmas ornaments—never used, still in their plastic envelopes in their original boxes. It's just not something I can wrap my head around.

What I do seem to have is a collection of cracked things. Collecting them was not intentional—it was more like a rescue mission. I looked at these cracked things that others told me, “just throw it away—it's no good if it's cracked or chipped,” and something in me rebelled. “But look at this work,” I said, “it's great work! You can't just throw this away!” Thus....collection of cracked things—cracked planters, cracked bird bath, the list goes on. 

This big bowl, for instance, was found in the barn of my former mother-and-father-in-law. It was in five pieces, dirty, and covered with dead leaves that had been stuck to it for decades. Who, in their right mind, looks at something like that, and thinks it's a treasure? Someone who's just as cracked as that bowl! Oh, yeah, that would be me.

I happen to believe we need our cracks. It is our broken places that humanize us; they are the joints and hinges that allow us to move away from idealizing perfection. It is our cracks that allow in divine light. The late essayist, Logan Pearsall Smith, said: “It is through the cracks in our brains that ecstasy creeps in.” I want that ecstasy crack, don't you?

                                                      In the Spirit,

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