Wednesday, 13 February 2019

A Vase is not Necessarily a Good Metaphor for a Person

Internet meme of broken vase
highlights the cracks
where the vase has been repaired using gold.
How beautiful, we are supposed to think,
that something broken but mended
can look more beautiful
than in its original state.

The corollary of this is that you are to accept,
without question,
that when your life has been shattered,
and you are lying on the floor,
a useless wreck
whose purpose in life is essentially over,
you will be more beautiful
when you’ve been reconstructed.

But what about the fact that vases
are a lot easier to put back together
than people,
and you may not have the metaphorical
equivalent of gold
to fix yourself?

The fixed vase meme breeds paranoia.
The mended person thinks:
Was I just plain and boring
before my life imploded?
Was being wrecked the only thing
that allowed me to become beautiful?
The unbroken person thinks:
Am I just a goldless vase?
Maybe I need to be broken
to become beautiful?

So, you know what? No. Vases are just vases,
some more aesthetically pleasing than others,
and some people –
none of whom are vases,
but some of whom may have, at some point,
been broken and subsequently mended, or not,
while others have remained intact –
are more beautiful,
on the inside or on the outside,
than others.