I am fragile.
To look at me you would see a young woman standing at 5 ft. 3 inches and think
“Of course she is fragile.”
My stature does not determine my strength.
Best believe I know a way or two to bring you down to my level.
But that’s beside the point because
Once upon a time I place my Being in the hands of someone who dropped
My Being broke into 4 large pieces
I tried to salvage what I could
I lost a piece in the darkness,
A vulture carried away the Second,
My first love stole the Third,
And I was left clutching the Fourth which was left deserted.
Nothing else wanted it.
I held onto it for dear life because it was all of my being I had left,
But I tripped.
I watched it soar through the air.
I watched it meet the ground.
And I watched it shatter into a million pieces.
It was all I had left.
I realize now my first mistake was placing my being into the hands of someone who never held a child.
He didn’t know to hold it or nurture it
But, see, I thought experience was the best teacher
I was determined to make him learn
So, I handed my being over and watched him fumble with it.
It was going so well but then he got tired of holding it and I watched it fall
It was my punishment.
The torture of watching my very essence shatter in slow motion.
And the torture of watching him walk away with what he wanted.
All I had was my fourth of a million pieces.
It gets lonely looking at shards.
I found all the pieces,
Taped some parts,
Glued the others,
Cut myself time and time again making sure they fit just right.
After a while
The million became a Fourth again
This ugly Fourth of a mass that was part glue, part tape, tears, and part blood
I looked closely and I realized that the Fourth spelled Hope.
Because when everything seemed bleak,
When I had nothing left,
Even If it was just a million tiny pieces
I had this Fourth… I had my hope.
It made sense.
Why would anything steal my hope?
It can’t be destroyed.
You can’t burn it because there are ashes.
You can’t break it because there are pieces.
You can’t drown it because the components break down and seep into other hosts.
You can’t destroy hope because hope is resilient and hope is determined to live.
Hope gave me the courage to find his brothers
So I looked, and I looked.
I found the Third.
I watched the man who took it.
Nothing about him changed except the fact he aged but nothing about him proved to be wiser.
He walked with a limp that suggested lameness
He squinted with eyes that once saw smells in the distance
He heaved in between each breath as if it was painful to breathe
It dawned on me how foolish I was
His own body abandoned him
Why should I have given him anything to hold?
He squinted at me
I watched his face transition from confusion, to realization, to fear.
He knew what I wanted and without hesitation he reached into his breast pocket and pulled the Third.
He tossed it to me.
I caught it in the air and inhaled sharply.
Simultaneously, the man exhaled and died.
It was if my third had sustained his pitiful existence.
I read it…
The Third was love
Even though he didn’t want me
He wanted the reassurance that there was something,
Something in this world that kept him from being lonely
Even if it was the naïve voice of a young girl whispering “I love you” from inside his arms
I took my love and broke a piece off.
I buried it back in his breast pocket understanding that this piece would stay with him forever.
Rest in Peace, Dad.
I didn’t stop there.
I needed to find the Second.
If I stayed I would’ve mourned for him even though he was a stranger.
My time was better spent looking for the rest of the stranger I once knew.
I found the Second.
It suffered the most.
The vulture that carried it away had been guarding it,
Waiting patiently for it to die,
Eager to make a meal of it,
Its eyes flashed in my direction
He cocked his head to the side as if contemplating which would die faster, the Second or me
He flew away.
I walked closer.
The Second was battered,
I went to grab it and it turned to ashes…
As it sifted through my fingers, the word “trust” formed onto the ground.
Then I understood…
You have to be good at holding on to it otherwise it’ll slip right through your fingers.
I gathered what was left of the ash,
It wasn’t much,
But it was mine.
And I didn’t have any to give away.
I braved the dark in search of the First.
I didn’t know where to look
I just walked.
And walked… instinctively turning left
And then left.
It was there.
And holding up a lot better than the other three.
It was my Faith.
I’d only lost it but no harm had come upon it
No matter how far I’d gone, I found my way right back
My faith was never lost,
I just never looked for it.
My Being was the closet to being complete and I tried to put IT back together.
My hope, bloody, glued and taped,
My love, linty from an inner pocket,
My trust obviously wouldn’t fit so I sprinkled the ashes I had left,
And my faith… almost perfect.
I am fragile.
My Being isn’t what I started with but it is all that I have.
Even the most skilled kintsukuroi artist couldn’t repair this.
But, I have all of my pieces.
And I’ll be holding on to them from now on.