The Art of the Broken.
There is a Japanese art called Kintsukuroi, the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.
It was a belief in magic that brought you here. You are the proof, the answered prayer, the smallest of miracles. You were a life lived only in heartbeats. And it wasn’t enough. It will never be enough. Every moment is a long journey to find a way to enough.
We look to the moon tonight, like every night. Trying to get a glimpse of you. The sleeping baby boy from the fairy tale we created. We know you’re there, because for a moment all our dreams came true, and there are no dreams that are not real somewhere. You’re there, in the somewhere, and you’re everywhere. You’re in all the places except where we thought you’d be.
Because of you, we see magic in ways we didn’t before. Because of you, we say you are instead of you were. Sometimes you are a bird, sitting alone on a frozen tree branch. Sometimes you are a few words drawn in the sand, and the beautiful, heartbreaking way nature washes it away. Sometimes you’re a silver crescent moon, the night-light we leave on for each other.
You are the light we see when we find ourselves in the darkest places.
For a time, I carried you. A forever in heartbeats. When I found out I was going to lose you, I read a quote that said I still carry you. To me, it said: I will never lose you.
When I look for my child in my arms, my hands are empty. I imagine writing Beauty on one palm and Loss on the other. I press my palms together. When I pray, there is no difference. The beauty and the loss are together in my hands. I hold this the way I would’ve held you. This is how I will always carry you.
Without you, we never would’ve known what beauty there is in broken, or what broken is to beauty. How one can only exist without the other for so long. There is so much we didn’t know before you. There is so much we didn’t have, before we had you. There is no end to what we learn from you, every day. No end to what you’ve given to us. Even when you’re not here, you’re here. There is no end to you.
The only thing truly gone are the people we were before you.
Now we are the broken people shattered on the floor of the nursery we made for you. In the space where we imagined goodnight kisses and lullabies, we collect up all our pieces. We have become artists at work, putting ourselves back together, becoming something new. We work tirelessly and we will never stop. We focus on the gift you have given us. We practice Kintsukuroi.
Every day we become more beautiful because of you.
* For my dear friend Kimberley and her son, Theodore, who is always everywhere.
Jennifer Chardon is fascinated with creating answers to unanswerable questions. She is currently at work on a novel, If I Ever Write A Book, It Will Be About You. The title will probably change. Jennifer has spent much of the last decade backpacking, journaling, and staying up late. She lives in Hawaii, and spends a lot of time staring directly at the sun. Find her in the void here.