Sunday, May 21, 2017

life anyway

Photo Description: A bra made of crayons decorate a crayon box with large crayons, the quote "Broken crayons still color" is written just beside a broken crayon. Artwork designed and carried out by Thea Nelson
We were wandering through the mall in Salisbury when we came upon an exhibit of artwork done by various companies or artisans all which feature a bra incorporated into the work. You can vote for your favourite if you make a donation to the breast cancer foundation. Of all there I found myself really struck by the one that was made of crayons, with the "Broken crayons still color" tag line. In fact it was that line that stopped me in my tracks, I'd been pushing hard, not the bras themselves. I didn't even realize what it was until I'd stopped and noticed the crayon bra along with all the others on display.

There was something really powerful and really healing in those words, something that really touched me. I liked the idea that brokenness, even that which can never be mended, doesn't end usefulness. I liked the idea that healing isn't necessary for those who've been wounded in order for them to move on and still contribute and be of service and of value. I don't know that I've ever said out loud how I believe that there are some areas of brokenness that are simply never going to be made right again, but that isn't where it all ends. It doesn't end with being broken, or even the sense of being broken, it ends with being broken incorporated into a life anyway.

This is my experience. There are parts of me, shattered. There are parts of me forever tender to the touch. There are parts of me that are dealt with only by doing and being anyway - doing damns the darkness. I sat there in my chair reading this message over and over and over again. Simply said. My eyes moved from the words to the bra and I couldn't help but smile. The audacity of a crayon bra, last years winner in the annual contest, having raised money and consciousness and awareness pleases me.

What art and a few words can do.

"Broken crayons still colour."

Can I hear an amen?


Belinda said...

Dave, I love your writing for it's own sake. You could write about the simplest thing and it would be smart and beautiful, but when you so see something so universally true on your journey and share it with us --it doubles the beauty of reading--a postcard to enjoy from afar.

So funny today because before I read this I was thinking about bras as I dressed, and smiling at what the Dutch call them: bust holders--or BH's. :) Anyway, I too, am thankful that broken crayons can still colour--and I KNOW that God does not despise broken things--he picks them up and uses them everyday.

CapriUni said...

Dave -- you may be interested in Kintsugi (link goes to Wikipedia article): the Japanese art of mending broken pottery with gold, silver, and platinum, in order to celebrate its unique history.

Maybe we humans can think of our broken places as opportunities to add something shining to our lives, too.

... It's a shame (and perhaps ironic) that the rest of Japanese culture is so disablist.

ABEhrhardt said...


I remember, as a kid, when we took crayons, broke them into pieces if they weren't already broken, peeled the paper off, and used the sides of the crayons to create effects we couldn't create with the points. My fingers can still feel what it was like to hold the pieces, smooth and slick without the paper, and press them along the paper. We'd end up with pieces that were flat on one of more sides. They filled space so nicely and uniformly, used like that.

Good image to remind me of.

SammE said...

Amen! I have many broken places, but I refuse to make them the whole of me. :) I love the image of the broken crayon. I still colour! s