There is a crack in everything. That is how the light gets in.–Leonard Cohen

I have been reflecting a lot in the last few weeks on my humanity. That sounds like a truly self-absorbed thing to write. Staring at it now, I wonder if there is any other way to write it, (please let there be another way to say this) but there isn’t.

The truth is I am flawed and messy. My failings are numerous.

There are the small things like I am terrible at making my bed. I still throw my clothes on the floor when I am getting ready for bed at night. I don’t exercise enough and I rarely eat my vegetables without an internal mother urging me on. I have other flaws that are quite ironic. For instance, I have been known to judge people for being too judgey. And then there are the big ones–the fears, the failures, the neuroses and crazinesses. The ugly parts of myself I wish no one would ever need to see.

There are times when I like to imagine myself on some sort of journey toward self-improvement. I look toward the moment when I will master patience, kindness and compassion fully and glow with some sort of inner knowing. I imagine a clean house, a fashionable wardrobe, a blog that is updated. I dream of a time when I will no longer be afraid of leaping or taking risks and when having figured it all out, everything is effortless. If I only do my lessons, and take each step earnestly I will somehow get to that holy place and I will win some sort of prize or get a tiara or angels will sing. And life will be easy.

Do you ever experience that?

And every time I think I am getting close to that place, the universe will slam me and remind me that there is no there to get to. That each day we simply wake up and do the best we can. Over and over again. Maybe in the process of making so many mistakes or in getting hurt we learn something and emerge wiser, but everything gained leads to new questions, new beginnings.

But these days I am intrigued with the concept of brokenness. And of how those cracks let the light in. I am declaring June a month to reflect on that here.

And I want to hear your stories. Desperately. Send me a note at meg (at) megcasey (dot) com if you have a story to share or leave a link to it in the comments here.

4 Responses to “The Crack in Everything”

  1. Lindsey Says:

    Sometimes I feel so broken that it’s not so much a crack as a thousand tiny shards that are barely held together at all. Like with a single wind I could scatter, lost my wholeness altogether. Yes. I know the feeling well. The tiny things and the huge ones, and the desperate wish for there to be a resolution, a goal, an end. And yet the fundamental, indelible truth that there isn’t. There is only this. It’s been the task of my first 35 years to finally realize that, and to stop living towards something, but to be here. Maybe the next 35 (if I’m lucky enough to get that many) will be about growing comfortable in that truth. I don’t know. I know your words provide great solace. Thank you.

  2. kdawson Says:

    The idea of brokenness is basic to the mystical Jewish tradition of Kaballah ( see this on Isaac Luria: ) — first came the withdrawing (tsimtsum) of the divine, then the brokenness (shevirah) of the world, then the mending (tikkun) by the hands of men. (Of which a commentator in the Talmud says: “You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”)

    Myself, I don’t acknowledge any brokenness in the world at all. I think we’re right where we’re supposed to be — on the leading edge of it.

  3. Lucille Says:

    There is only this.

    I have to marinate in that. Because I have been feeling the way you and Lindsey posted. I, too, keep thinking I am working towards something…but what?

    At 2 months shy of 44, shouldn’t I have reached that “something” by now?

    I have been feeling in a funk for a while. I want to find passion in my life, want to discover what is my passion… I’m embarassed to say I DON’T KNOW. It’s certainly not my job. It’s not my faith, otherwise, wouldn’t I be more faithful? I’d love to say it was motherhood—and I do love my son with all my heart and soul—but if motherhood truly was my passion, wouldn’t I be less frazzled, less cranky?

    I don’t know. I keep telling myself there has to be more to life. But as Lindsey wrote, there is only this.

    Maybe I’m scared of embracing that thought.

  4. Trish Says:

    I’m planning a visit to MD. Let’s compare schedules when your home and not at the Cape or snow storms in the way. Miss you and Max tons.

    Email me at patriciadolan@comcast or better yet call me at 781.956.7443.

    No, my bed is not made and my floors need to be vaccumed!