Ann Keiffer

Strange Beauty

The Strange Beauty of Brokenness

There can be a strange beauty in brokenness,
a beauty that depends entirely on changing
our perspective, our eyes and our minds.

A mirror, shattered, no longer fulfills a mirror’s
supposed utility and function: reflecting back a
seamless, backward-perfect image of the world.

But if we look with soft eyes, past our beliefs
about a mirror’s function, we may begin to see
all that the brokenness is giving back to us…
a world made mosaic, multiplied and magnified.

Recently, I scattered a jumble of blue-gray
pebbles, chunks of sea glass, and small pieces
of mirror along a ledge outside our front door.

Later I noticed sunlight playing across the mirror
pieces. Wonderment–each mirror piece was
reflecting its own separate, unique fragment of
sky, branches and leaves overhead, the images
changing, moving in and out of view with the
breeze. Being small, being imperfect, the broken
mirror pieces were revealing not less, but more.

Once, in the brokenness of deep depression,
I struggled to get back to the backward-perfect
image of the person I thought I was. But it was
that image that was broken, in pieces. Never
to be repaired. When, at last, I gave up trying
to put myself back together, I could begin to
see my broken pieces with newly softened eyes,
discovering facets of myself I had never seen
before, so much deeper depths to be plumbed.
And a strange beauty that was soul-ly mine.

What could this mean about the brokenness of
the world; our individual brokenness of mind,
body or spirit; shattered relationships; countries
and people in pieces; the browning, drowning of
our green-blue-o-sphere? If we could look with
softened eyes, how might our brokenness refocus
us, change our view, reflect to us our part in the
mosaic of Life? What strange beauty might we see?

Ann Keiffer/September 2013>

Image Credit: Ann Keiffer


About Ann

I am interested in the strange beauty of brokenness, in transforming possibility in difficult times, in how we heal even when we can’t get better, in the alchemy of surrender, in the interplay of light and shadow, in the bounty of everyday wonders, in the gift of laughter…and writing about it, all and everything.

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