“You can live for a long time inside the shell you were born in. But one day it’ll become too small.”
“Then what?” I ask.
“Well, then you’ll have to find a larger shell to live in.”
I consider this for a moment. “What if it’s too small but you still want to live there?”
She sighs. “Gracious, child, what a question. I suppose you’ll either have to be brave and find a new home or you’ll have to live inside a broken shell.”
Sometimes you think you’ve found love, when it’s really just one of those objects that are shiny in a certain light–a trophy, say, or a ring, or a diamond, even. Glass shards, maybe. You’ve got to be careful, you do. The shine can blind you. The edges can cut you in way you never imagined. It is up to you to allow that or not.
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
We are designed to dance. To use our bodies as weapons of grace, beauty and intrigue. We are designed to stretch until we master growth. To replace old dead cells and be physically renewed each moment.
Life cracks us into unrecognizable shards of former incarnations. Slivers of our hurt and our pain and our shame nestles next to fragments of our truth, our divinity, our fierce reclamation of power.
It is this very brokenness that allows us to knit together, kaleidoscope style. And we spin and shift and turn to the light until we appear brilliant, lit from within. Suddenly we are revealed; unexpected beauty born directly from brokenness.
Who fixes broken people? Is it only other broken people, ones who’ve already been ruined? And do we need to be fixed? It was the messiness and hurt in our pasts that drove us, and that same hurt connected us at a subdermal level, the kind of scars written so deeply in your cells that you can’t even see them anymore, only recognize them in someone else.
We’ve been shattered and reconstructed, told to make an effort every single day to pretend we still function the way we’re supposed to. But it’s a lie, it’s all a lie; every person, place, thing and idea is a lie.
I do not function properly. I am nothing more than the consequence of catastrophe.
―Tahereh Mafi, Unravel Me