“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” -Leonard Cohen
This quote has been rolling over in my head for about a month now. For awhile it was popping up in conversations, in books, and (obviously) in music. A small truth that made being broken seem okay.
I was talking to a friend recently about life and he said, “I keep expecting this to get easier but I feel like I’m just getting more broken.” “I’m afraid that I will always be here, where I am now, trying to make it through life safely so I won’t be more hurt than I am now,” another friend said.
All I can think to say is, “Yeah.” I have friends who are dealing with recovery, it seems impossible every day to keep going forward. I have friends who are dealing with mental illness, it seems impossible to enjoy the good days because they know the bad days are just around the corner. I have friends who face death and injustice at work. I have friends who face broken marriages. I have friends who have heard devastating news at doctors offices and are trying to figure out what to do now. I have friends who are broken. I live in a world that is broken. I am broken.
There is an old Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with a special lacquer dusted with metal, typically gold or silver, called Kintsukuroi (“golden repair”). This repair highlights the cracks and breaks in the piece, and is often more valuable and more beautiful than the original. What I love most about this art is that it replaces the missing pieces with something stronger.
I don’t know if we all start out whole, or if we are broken from the start. I know that we all break differently. I know that we are all broken. There is a crack in everything. It allows light to shine. It allows community to grow. It allows us to speak out. It allows us to become more beautiful.
I am learning to embrace my brokenness. I am learning to reach out to those who are broken as well. I hope you know that being broken is okay. I hope you know that you are not alone when you feel this way. I hope you know that the crack in everything allows light to shine into a dark place.