In a rage, you fling the precious, family heirloom pottery vase into the soot filled fireplace. Standing, horrified at your action as well as the pent-up rage, you scramble to your knees poking your head into the fireplace; withdrawing; going to find the flashlight with the brightest beam; going back with a soft dish towel, white, and begin to slowly pick up the pieces…bigger ones first and then gathering the slivers that will undoubtedly fill in the cracks and make the piece almost, almost the perfect original.
The first big pieces fit together and a sense of relief washes over you soothing the depravity of your rage. The pieces mate precisely. As in life, it is too soon for the imperfections to begin to slowly but surely begin to appear.
The smaller pieces take longer and do not fit, leaving small sharp edges. You take the uneven pieces off and try again; it is to no avail. Holding the vase up to the light you see the sunlight filtering through the minute’ cracks; the imperfections that would forever mar the memory of a perfect vase.
You believe that you can live with the cracks, after all, they add character, you say silently to yourself….you know that the elegant lines of that family piece will never be the same; yet you continue to try to fit the slivers into the smallest of spaces, distorting the overall fit maybe by a thousandth of an inch, just enough for the distortion to remind you of your actions that caused this herculean effort to restore the precious family vase that had been entrusted to you for safe keeping.
All those angles; all that thin white glue; forcing you to realize that these approximations and compromises you put into shoring up the shattered vase, that this was like the rest of your life…once broken, fitting the pieces back together is only an approximation of what might have been had you not thrown a precious part of your life away in a fit of rage.