“Victoria Lotus Leaf: How the Light Gets In,” by Katarina Wong, www.katarinawong.com

Monday Minute #11

Let’s Illuminate the Cracks and Let the Light Flood In

Canadian poet and singer, Leonard Cohen, wrote a lyric in his song, Anthem, “Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

Obviously, there is no easy cure for the ongoing trauma our country is experiencing, neither our current health crisis, nor the chronic disease of racial oppression.

Let’s start with an imperfect offering. Let’s cultivate real dialogue and ask how we can let light in.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said “a riot is the language of the unheard.” Let’s show up, exercise humility, and hand all the microphones to the unheard. Let’s listen to the voices who can shed light on fundamental problems and illuminate real solutions.

Japanese kintsugi artists (“kin” for “golden,” and “tsugi” for “repair”) use liquid gold or silver to mend cracks in pottery. Instead of trashing a broken bowl, vase, or pitcher — deeming it unfixable — kintsugi artists accentuate the “scars” using precious metal as binding, ultimately unifying the broken fragments into a more beautiful object than the original.

Together, let’s please lay down our arrogance, pride, and selfishness, and help sweep up the pieces we have shattered. Let’s craft something beautiful and sustainable out of the rubble, being sure to illuminate the cracks so the light floods in.

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Heidi K. Brown

Introverted writer, law prof, traveler, New Yorker, boxer, U2 fan. Author of The Introverted Lawyer, Untangling Fear in Lawyering, & The Flourishing Lawyer