The Shattering, The Reconciliation and The Return

“GRID”, 6′ x 3′, m/m

I am interested in being with people who have been shattered.

It seems like GRACE is a virus

And it recognizes the tatters

On the clothes of a divorcee

Or a father who has lost a child

Or a job

Or his home.

Perhaps it is a teenager torn apart over a lost first love.

Maybe the passing of a beloved pet.

Could be you had a belief and knew you were right

Then, in an instant, you had to concede that you weren’t right at all.

A tsunami may have taken your entire town

Or a diagnosis spoken in the hushed, almost embarrassed voice of a doctor.

A SHATTERING, to me, is any experience we meet

Which makes it impossible to go back

To who we were before the thing happened.

We are shattered.

We do not have the comfort of the carefully constructed identities we have used as ballast.

That palette is gone.

We must find a new one.

Become new.

Or not.

There is the crux of the thing:

People who have experienced some life-altering event or thing

Have something very important in common:

They have been given the opportunity

To crawl in the closet and pull the blanket of denial over their head;

Which could mean a multitude of ways of checking out:

Drugs, drink, sex, suicide, numbness, illness, depression, work… the list goes on and on..

OR – They / we / I could CHOOSE LIFE

Which means a virtual unknown many times.

But the CHOICE is the thing

Which marks those I want to be around.

It is a modern-day stigmata;

A holy mark which hurts

And won’t go away

But acts as a constant reminder

We are here.

We matter.


This shattering-thing

Is only figure-out-able

Moment by moment.

Never by careless hand fulls.

If we choose life, living, uncertainty

An interesting thing happens on our RETURN..

The road is peopled by faces we seem to recognize

Who seem to SEE us

For the GRACE attached to our tattered jackets.

We all of a sudden walk into our TRIBE.

And somehow never ever feel alone again.

I have no idea how all this works.

That is the very mystery of it..

But I do know it has to do with having a shattering,

Meeting it at the door,

Inviting it in

And offering it tea.


3 Responses to “The Shattering, The Reconciliation and The Return”

  1. Judy on March 16th, 2011


    I love this post. And you are so right.

  2. Laura Hegfield on March 19th, 2011

    We ARE THE MYSTERY. This jumped out at me too… I am so grateful for all the amazing shattered people I have met along the way, to be part of this tribe with you Cathy…with all of us on this road to deeper growth and healing than we could have imagined before we became so broken.

  3. Rose on March 27th, 2011

    I have never heard the shattering described really before, but I know it. Everyone that has been there would know it in an instant. Years, over a decade later and reading this bring tears to my eyes, still. No we can never go back, but in time, if we live well and life is kind we can get to a point where we would not wish to.

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