Beauty of the Mosaic
For as long as I recall having memory, I've found mosaic incredibly mesmerising. Alongside the increasing presence of grey hair on my head grew my awareness of how aptly the mosaic can serve as a metaphor for perceiving and understanding the human condition.
Mosaic is at once intricate yet majestic. And it is precisely its brokeness that lends mosaic its perception of fragile beauty - the space between the tiles is as much an intricate part of its language of beauty as the mosaic tile itself. And isn't this true too of our humanity?
Whilst there are numerous titles out there extolling the necessity, power and beauty of our essential brokenness, more often that not, our daily interactions with our fellow human beings appears to be motivated by unconscious "should-ism" that demands perfection of one another. What is it about brokenness that we find so offensive?
What would happen when we accept and embrace that being broken is an essential part of humanity's be-ing? What would happen when we cease to label brokenness as bad? What would it take for us to cease labelling brokenness as bad? I can imagine one certainty ... more peace.
Accepting and embracing brokenness is not the same as using another's brokenness to feel better about ourselves. Rather, it is an acknowledgment of our common humanity. When I accept my own brokenness, and do not judge myself harshly because of it, I find myself capable of more compassion towards others regardless of whether I am aware of the form of brokenness they've experienced.
Finally, it is the coming together of many many many mosaic tiles that the meaning of its language of beauty is expressed. We were not meant to be alone in our brokenness. We were meant to come together, so that another form of beauty may be birthed through the collective.
I would like to leave you with this story.
At the beginning and end of time, Truth was a beautiful glowing orb. One day, the orb was shattered into shards that outnumbered the stars in the universe by one to infinity. These shards became souls. Thus it is that each soul represented one part of Truth. But Life intervened, and many souls believed that they were Truth, and so Hatred was bred. But some souls held onto the memory, and attempted to remind the souls who've forgotten.
I do not know the end of the story as it is yet to be written. But I do know that when all the souls are reunited, the space between the shards would be where the light shines through. And that Truth's beauty would then take another form.
Roslina Chai is an author, mother, and "seeker of beauty, curator of experiences, and holder of space." She lives in Singapore, and the excerpt was originally taken from her blog.
Seed questions for reflection: How do you relate to the notion that we were not meant to be alone in our brokenness? Can you share a personal story of a time you could see beauty birthed through the collective mosaic? What helps you commit to finding the 'space between the shards' where the light shines through?
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