Monday, March 20, 2006

Imperfection as beauty

I just finished reading Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos, which resonated deeply with me. Years ago my father taught me the beauty to be found in imperfection. Kallos has deepened that awareness to include the beauty to be found in broken lives that are pieced back together to form a deeper, more textural significance. If we've lived more than a few years, all of us have broken places in our lives...or in our bodies. Kallos is right - it is the marks from the "web of experience" that makes each of us unique and beautiful in our own, special way. Perfection is bland and ultimately deadening.

There were other subtexts in the novel that resonated as well: a brief exhortation to be true to what attracts you and keep it near and visible for inspiration, as well as the notion that once you've had an idea to perform a good deed, it becomes a promise to God to follow through with it.

The pain that holding on too tightly can create. The choices we each make to live in loneliness and loss or to open up to people and possibilities and love. The importance, even to objects, of personal history. The evil that can lie behind passion. The loving goodness that can lie behind seeming craziness. The important good that a single, solitary person can do by following their heart. Even an answer to the age-old question of "What should you do if you find out you only have a year to live?"! I think this is a story that will be with me, in one form or another, for the rest of my life.

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