Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Broken is as Broken Does

This post goes out to all of you who are feeling broken today. If you broke a nail, I'm sorry. If you're flat broke, my sympathies. But my heart mostly goes out to those of you who are silently suffering from broken dreams and broken hearts and broken promises. Those of you who feel part and not all, skim and not whole. To those of you who feel in disrepair or beyond repair, I know that feeling.

And to those of you who feel like banging your head against the wall because of all the things you cannot fix, I throw my window open wide, and call to you across the sky! (I plagiarized that line from Pink Floyd)

And to those of you who spend your time trying to help others fix things, I throw my window open wide and speak in normal tones to you across the front porch--cause you're my smack-dab next-door neighbor. (That line was my own).

And to those of you who don't feel broken, or in need of repair, but you just can't figure out how to work the perfectly healthy equipment you've got, I know that feeling too.

My daughter had a stressful technical media problem yesterday that lasted 7 hours and we couldn't fix it. Did I mention it was stressful? I haven't been that stressed since I was making rockumentaries for the singles ward my husband bishoped himself out for. I got up at midnight and tiptoed into her room to find her wide awake and teary eyed.

"We tried," I told her.

"But I thought if you tried and tried and tried and tried you're supposed to be able to fix things," she said.

It was poignant moment. (At least at midnight it felt poignant.) A poignant punctuation mark to a poignant day. (Okay, I just said poignant four times. I promise I won't do that again.)

A poignant (that's five) day because for 16 years I've been here on the North Shore of Hawaii and how many times do you think I have I driven along the Ko'olaou mountain range past the little yellow shack where the lovely Hawaiian's are sharing a lovely sunrise together? As many times as grains of sand I can hold in my hand.

Yesterday, on my way into town the lovely Hawaiians were in their usual places, but on my way home they were not.

These lovely Hawaiians are now sharing a lovely sunset, and that made me cry.

I've always had a fascination with things that are cracked or flawed or missing . . . not like broken dishwashers, but like broken shells and busted trees. Things that were once together, and then aren't. I've come to appreciate that beauty. My sister often says she feels broken inside, but she's the kindest, most generous, compassionate and beautiful woman I know.

I guess broken is as broken does.

It's good to remember that when something falls apart or caves in or snaps, it's not just the end, it's also just the beginning.

I know this now, but I still don't like it (at first).

Let me drive the point home on an acecdote note (even though this isn't sacrament meeting). When my son was 7 years old, he broke the biggest bone in his body, his femur. He spent 3 days in the hospital and 9 weeks in a body cast. The doctor said the break had taken an inch off his leg, leaving it shorter than his good leg. But what he didn't know was that the broken leg was already an inch shorter to begin with, so it was actually 2 inches shorter.

Curs-ed spite!

"However," said the doctor, "a bad break like this will often stimulate the bone growth and the broken leg will eventually grow about 2 inches, making it longer and stronger than his perfectly healthy, normal (did I mention) PERFECTLY unbroken leg." (I put a few of those last words in the doctor's mouth).

What an odd way to even things out, I thought.

Like I said before, broken is as broken does.


The Rogers Family said...

WOW! What a great post! I had to send it to everyone I know who is struggling, which adds up to about ... hmmm ... everyone! Thanks!

Lisa (Funny Farmer) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa (Funny Farmer) said...

Dude - I come here expecting to laugh and you made me cry. How am I supposed to deal with this kind of uncertainty?!

Awesome story about your son's leg - what a great illustration of needing to be broken in order to be fixed!

:blows kisses:

Lisa (Funny Farmer) said...

Oh, and you used poignant SIX times.

So there. :P

Jen said...

I had a very broken week last week. Very. Thankfully, things have gotten normal enough that I can once more function like a sane person AND start doing housework again.

Lucky me:)

I am LoW said...

On Mormon Mommy Blogs you should be under 'People Who Think Big Thoughts'. :)

(although witty is fitting too. just sayin)

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Jen, I'm sorry about your broken week. ;( And Lisa and lovely I am low . . . I KNOW! I don't know what to do about this identity crisis I am having. I'm feeling a little pigeon-holed as witty, when I'm only partly witty. I hate to misrepresent myself. Do you think I should ask the motherboard to switch me around?

Lisa (Funny Farmer) said...

Uh - I was joking on the uncertainty thing... isn't life uncertain? I'll deal with it.

And what's this about being pigeonholed? Witty women are not allowed to think big thoughts? At least you're not in the overcrowded "Slice of Life" catagory.

What about the "People Who Write" catagory? Cuz you do. Or maybe you need your own catagory: The English Professor.

OKay that is dumb. Shutting up now...

I am LoW said...

As I commented on your latest post- you should have your very own category. Or at least there should be a Triple Threat category.