Over the last few weeks, a couple of prized possessions met with unfortunate and untimely fates. First, enough sweet potato salad to feed a small army slipped right out of my hands, crashing onto the kitchen floor, shattering my mother's yellow Pyrex mixing bowl. Yes, that Pyrex bowl...
Then as I was delicately hand washing (as always) my favorite artisan coffee mug, part of the fluted rim snapped off right between my fingers. 10 years ago, either of theses incidents could have turned into long suffering events. I'm so grateful to now understand that these are indeed incidents and not events.
I was recently remembering one afternoon when I was maybe 4 or 5 years old. I was at my babysitter Ida's house and I'd just enjoyed a juicy tangerine off of the tree in her backyard. In her kitchen sink I washed the sticky from my tiny hands, but before they were completely dry she handed me a glass of water and it slipped right through my little fingers and broke. Mini Me melted down.
I was so upset. You see in my Mother's house, this would have been a Category 1 Catastrophe; viewed as a precarious mess that needed to be cleaned up, not to mention having to replace the glass. Ida, who was clearly taken aback by my instant trauma over something so minor, tried to assure me that it was an accident, and "only a glass". I wasn't at all convinced. I needed another tangerine.
Shit breaks everyday. Cars, toys, shoelaces, dishes, rules- not to mention relationships and hearts. Breakage of any kind is rarely convenient, so how does one manage to overcome life's little (and not so little) travesties? While there are exceptions of course, I try (I said try!) to remember this basic rule of thumb: Just about anything that breaks can be replaced or mended.
When I was a kid I thought my Mother was the bravest woman in the world. I now realize that in many areas of her life she operated from a place of fear. In this particular reference, she feared that if something broke or got ruined there would be no money to replace it. Fear and worry are synonymous, and if you're always worried then you have no peace. I don't think my mother ever knew peace. I'm choosing something different for myself. We were hardly impoverished, but that was an impoverished mentality. I choose to live in abundance, and that's a spiritual position. If something breaks there's no need to sweat it, I'm covered. You can't buy insurance for that!
Don't have the spiritual constitution to subscribe to that kind of thinking? I suppose they still make Super Glue! Listen. When they pack you up and send you on your way, you won't be able take your stuff with you anyway. Didn't work out so well for the Egyptians, did it?
In the event of emotional breakage, I can almost guarantee you that wherever you're busted, it will heal itself- as long as you don't insist on clinging to the jagged edges. Trust me, I know this from experience! Mucho. I find that the ever resilient heart is unique that way. Pyrex bowls and coffee mugs, not so much.
When I was 16 and my friend Carol was in beauty college, she gave me a perm. It was the 80's, what can I say. Anyway, I used to have what's known as a 'widow's peak' hairline. Think Eddie Munster. When you perm a widow's peak, you have to part it down the middle and roll the hair on 2 rods at opposing angles. She rolled it all on one rod, straight across- and the hairs literally broke off at the root. Of course the hair grew back with time. And then it eventually fell out anyway, but I can't very well blame that on Carol, now can I?
Addendum: I thought I'd add that this evening as I was writing this piece, my cell phone fell in the toilet and died a most unspectacular death. True story.
2nd Addendum: So last night I post on Facebook the tragedy met by my phone. There was a unanimous call for a plan to raise the dead by immersing the phone and all it's parts in dry rice. Yes, as in the grain. I did it, and left it overnight...the dead has arisen! She's 'tickyer' than ever, but by golly she's working.