woensdag 15 april 2015

Things are not alive

Everybody is fine in our family, which is more than can be said for many other people and families we know and have come across the last few months.

It's been strange.

Today I realized something. Something that has been nagging at me. See, I don't like to think of people, or relationships, getting cracks and breaks and fault lines. I like them perfect, perfectly healthy, perfectly happy, perfect in each and every respect.

And I realized that is because I equate cracks and breaks and fault lines with material things: things that break, tear and smash into smithereens. These things can be put together but will never be quite the same. Will never be quite as good.

What I realized today: people are not things. People are alive.

None of us get out alive, and none of us get out unscathed. We all bear the scars of living, of disappointment, of sadness, of rage, of hurt.

I have a scar on my thumb. I love that scar. I got it when I was sixteen and we had to disect a chicken in my biology class. Except the teacher had forgotten to get the chicken out of the freezer in time, so they were still frozen solid and the knife slipped and I cut my thumb instead and the girl in front of me turned around and screamed "It's still alive" when she saw the blood bubbling out of the carcass. But it was my blood bubbling into the carcass.

Our scars do not diminish us. The fault lines in our relationships do not make them less strong. The times we disappoint our children do not diminish our love for them, or their love for us.

Because these are living things, and those can heal and grow. They are not determined by any single state of being, whereas material things are. They can be perfect. They can shine in museums, untouchable, unblemished, utter perfection.

Human beings can never be perfect.

We are alive. Our scars become integral parts of us. We change. We learn. We can be many things. And just because we are scarred, and criss-crossed with fault lines, and broken and put back together, it doesn't mean we are worth less. It doesn't mean we are worth more. We will never be as good as new. But we will always go on.

Nothing more, nothing less. We get to live.