A Shard of Glass

November 21, 2008
I am a shard of glass. Gentle cracks gossamer across my surface but my crystalline structure remains fundamentally strong. I am a beautiful shred of serenity on this gritty pavement, as I lie in the shade of the window frame from which I once fell.

I scream with every particle of my being for somebody, anybody, to break away from the vicious circle of their frantic lives to admire, appreciate, maybe even just examine me, if only for a moment. But of course they don’t. After all, they don’t know where I’ve been; I could be dirty and foul, who knows? Besides, what if somebody stopped only to realize that they had wasted a precious moment of their fleeting lives on nothing but a grimy fragment of a shattered windowpane? I am but a ghost of my former glory, and even worse, I know it. I have composed my exterior, leaving nothing but a clear and smooth surface to face the world. Within me, however, the weeping for the futility of my situation echoes through my soul and magnifies my sorrow.

And now I am angry. How dare these miserable representations of humanity pass me by and crush me beneath their heels with neither a thought nor a glance! I am a molten pool of liquid crystal; I have turned to glassy lava in my rage. Do not touch me now; do not even dare to place yourself near my shimmering puddle, lest my fury boil over and scald your helping hand. I seem dangerous, but I too must be cautious. For my anger makes me soft and pliable - susceptible to being molded by the pernicious words and opinions of those around me. I refuse to be shaped by others’ desires. I return to being an unyielding shard of glass on the squalid sidewalk.

Maybe, I reason, it is best just to lie still. After all, my screaming and sobbing and rage has gotten me nowhere; I am no more noticed than I was before, perhaps even less. I wrestle with myself until; at last, my soul is at peace. As I let myself drift into the enveloping sense of calm that floods my body, brilliant sunshine washes in great, rolling waves over my insignificant little shard, and I rest there, ensconced in bliss. I bring forth dazzling patterns of dancing, golden light, playfully glittering across my surroundings like so many fireflies on a warm, July night. And it is now that I have finally been noticed! Here comes a warm hand, and then, darkness.

Once again, I find myself as part of a larger picture. For I have been placed carefully in another window, this one far more exquisite and diverse than the last. The larger organism I am now a part of tells a story, one that I am glad to share. The light that streams through me illustrates my flaws and my pain long past. But far more apparent is my joy, my newfound passion for life. I am a pane of glass in this new window. My brilliant light shines forth with such luminosity that I know the memory of my radiance will remain behind me, long after wind and rain have reduced me to nothing but a fine powder, scattered in the breeze.

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