Okay, so full disclosure, I cried like a baby watching this scene. Which, you know, is normal with movies that are scripted to strike an emotional chord. You are okay to sniffle in a movie theater or sob while home with the cat. However, I was watching this while on a trans-Atlantic flight surrounded by strangers (none of which spoke English, at least where I was sitting) after being at the one of the most emotionally heavy conferences I’ve ever attended.
It was mildly embarrassing. I was wound up tighter than a drum and emotionally vulnerable.
BUT! Because of watching this scene, I came to this new awareness about myself and about my perspective on life. I came to a jarring realization. How often do we look at the events in our lives as “damage” to the heart and soul? Were we really whole, perfectly formed, in the first place? Are we so self-centered that we forget that our creation was the joining of two “pieces”? When you’re made up of parts, can you really be whole? Whole would indicate, to me, that you had no seams.
An egg is whole, for example, as it has no joints/seams. It is simple, and plain, but holds life. The metaphorical heart in each of us is NOT whole but instead a collection of pieces of ideas, lessons, impressions, experiences of love and loss…all fused together by the Divinity that each of us have in common. When we experience traumatic events in our lives we feel broken and damaged. We feel the jagged, rough edges of our experiences because we have not yet given them over to the Divine.
In this clip, Howard, played by Will Smith, is talking with ‘Death’. He’s still mourning the loss of his little girl – years after her death. This was a traumatizing event for him. Death is an inherent part of our lives, and it makes no matter whether it comes suddenly or you know it’s coming, it is still profound. Howard chose to take the death of his daughter and hold onto it tightly. Like holding shards of broken glass in a closed fist, the pain was always present and the wound always bleeding. He chose to relive that pain on a daily basis and ignore the other parts of his life; he walked around with open eyes, unseeing.
How often have we done this ourselves? What keeps our fist closed around the broken glass and prevents us from healing. What keeps us from taking those broken pieces, handing them over to the Divine, and allowing them to be part of our own mosaic?
I know for me, I have an easier time conversing with Death as opposed to the other Fates. The losses I’ve experienced have been both sudden and prolonged, sad and relieving, close and far away. However, Death and I have this understanding that when he comes to call it is at the will of the Gods. It’s kind of like a “don’t shoot the messenger” understanding. I know that Death will come for me one day and I’m not really troubled so much by that. It’s the loss of the living that frightens me most. This is where I get back to the whole “being whole”. (You liked that I used whole twice, didn’t you?)
This scene in the movie made me realize that I should stop assuming that others, who are suffering either silently or visibly, are broken. They are not broken, as they were not whole (ie. perfect) before something/one caused a part of them to break. Sounds a bit paradoxical, right? They’re not broken but something in them broke. How does that make sense? Look, I’m solidifying a theory here. Gimme a break. I guess what I’m saying is that we are not broken, we are not deficient or less than, which is what broken tends to indicate. We are living in the experience, our fist closed over the pieces. When we are ready – or when someone helps us to open our hand – those pieces are put back into the mosaic by the Divine. Now, it has been my observation that some God/essess will be a hammer and some will be the glue when it comes to experiences. You have to be careful what you pray/ask for. But that’s another story for another day.
In conclusion I will say this: One day, when Death comes to greet you, what He will see is a complete work of art. The beauty of a million resplendent shards that reflect back a life lived exactly as it was intended. You’re not perfect and you’re not alone.
Writer, Wannabe Artist, Overthinker, List-Maker, Photographer, Chronic Under-Salter