We grew up on plastic plates.
Drinking out of our plastic cups, we played with our plastic toys. We were not familiar with the concept of broken.
As we grew they began to trust us with breakables.
It started with a plate, we were told to be careful, to always watch what we were doing. The worst mistake we could make would be to drop the plate.
These breakables were our treasures; however no matter how careful we were the first shattered plate shattered our heart.
No room for error, we were told we are careless and clumsy. ‘Why weren’t you paying attention’ ‘you have to be more careful’ ‘don’t move I will clean it up’.
The first time we are trusted with a true treasure, a precious gift we are told to ‘keep it somewhere safe’ ‘look but don’t touch’ such precious things must be saved for special occasions, stored safe away from our clumsy hands.
Haunted by the word clumsy, with every shattered glass I felt unworthy of nice things.
The first time someone handed me their heart, young and naive I did not realise it was breakable. I casually tossed it between my hands, bruising each time I caught it just before it hit the floor. When I finally tired of tossing it, I turned my back before I heard the shatter. Later I was reminded he was a nice boy. I was unworthy of nice things.
I learnt my heart was made of china at 16.
Delicate fine bone china, so easily broken. The first time my love threw me against a wall I felt it shatter. Picking up the broken pieces I stored the larger shards away for safe keeping.
Locked away for a special occasion, I had finally learnt the heart was a precious treasure.
The smaller shards remained, so that those who would reach in to touch my heart would cut themselves on the remnants of my broken love.
I did not believe beauty could be found in broken things. I had never heard of the Japanese art Kintsukuroi.
So when another man talked to me of love and forever after, I wondered if he could be my special occasion and wearily handed over the shattered remnants of my heart. Ashamed of my scars I found it hard to believe that a true promise of forever could exist. For who could ever love a broken thing.
He repaired the cracks of my heart with silver, intent of teaching me that I was more beautiful for having been broken.
Always a fast learner, I believed him.
My belief did not diminish when he dropped my heart and reclaimed his silver.
Although the silver was gone, the knowledge that the heart could be rebuilt to show beauty again remained. I rebuilt my heart with gold. Giving up on the notion of saving myself, everyone I met became a special occasion.
My heart is not impermeable, cracks still form across its surface, they still take their time to repair with gold.
But now because I love freely and open myself the possibility of being dropped, my heart has become so much more beautiful for ever being broken.