Rarely is a sculptor handed a perfect piece of stone to carve a work of art. Often the stone is craggy, jagged, and discolored in some spots. Imperfections abound. While there is the impulse to do away with all of those imperfections, the capable sculptor sees them as gifts to be worked into the piece rather than subtracted from it. He or she doesn’t fight them, but cherishes them and uses them.
Our lives are like these stones. If we have lived, really lived, we have been broken. Sometimes repeatedly. When there’s a fresh break, healing can feel like Oz, a destination we can see but never reach. But if we can sit with these disappointments, massive and painful as they are, we find that Oz is not so unattainable after all. If we can really let the light flow freely through them, if we can find a way to learn the hard lessons that brought them to us, then these misfortunes are as valuable as every triumph we ever achieve. Maybe even more so. We can make meaning out of them just as the sculptor draws meaning from every stone, imperfect as it may be.