Broken Angels

There is a story about an angel figurine that falls to the floor.  Her wing breaks off and she’s left with only one wing.  We are like broken angels, looking for another broken angel so we can join together and fly again.  My husband recently knocked over one of my Willow Tree angel figurines that was given to me by my friend Carol.  It was an accident.  She was displayed on a small glass shelf in my powder room, where it seems I keep a lot of angels.  When she broke, he felt bad and said, “Uh oh!  I think something bad just happened!”  I came into the room and saw it broken in many pieces.  The little hands that held the painted rosy-pink heart were disconnected, and her arm smashed into splinters of broken ceramic.  As I held the dismembered angel and gathered up her pieces from the floor and the sink, I felt sad.  I was sad for the memory that this angel gives me of Carol.  I have lots of other things that my friend had given me over the years, but I really loved this little angel with the wire wings.  Yet, there was a part of me that was relieved.  When I would get attached to things and they would break or disappear, I would feel like part of myself was broken or lost.  I think since my awakening and getting more in tune with my Self, I don’t feel like I’m wounded any more when something I love or appreciate is damaged. 

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of things in this house of mine that are mementos of another era and that connect me to people I love.  My mother gave me a little ceramic figure of a beautiful long-haired cat with her paws resting inside a pair of red high heels.  My mom told me she loved it because the kitty cat looked like she was saying, “Don’t go out tonight. Stay home with me!”  I have this statue in my powder room, too and right next to it, another antique cat that I think is supposed to be a tiny planter.  This cat sits up with his head cocked to one side winking his eye as if to say, “Your secret is safe with me.”  If one of those broke, I think I’d be upset for a while.  I’d try to piece it back together with glue, knowing it would never be the same again.  But Carol’s angel was different.  When she broke, I was sad, but I felt like she was saying, “It’s time to be free!  Let go and don’t worry any more.  You don’t need a physical representation to cling to because our friendship is everlasting.” 

Speaking of friends, I thought of my friend Rose again today.  What a special friend Rose was.  She left this world a few months ago and I still think I can just bump into her somewhere or give her a call.  I think of her and the way her eyes would sparkle when she smiled, her way of pulling us all into her stories and the deep and profound healing that she helped me experience with her.  Sometimes I think we are walking around as broken angels, each into our own stories, in our own heads with our own drama, conflicts, struggles and pain.  We have lots to give, too though, and as we walk around with our pieces missing, jagged in places and incomplete, we find one another and it helps fill in those gaps.  We find each other and we see the good in each other.  We find what is lost and we are able, with the help of our friends, our angels, to piece ourselves back together again.  And as anyone knows who has been through any kind of trauma, shift, or change, we are never quite the same again.  You can’t look at a glued statue and see it without seeing the line where it was cracked.  You see it whole, but it shows where it was injured and it wears that scar proudly as it continues to stand and present its beauty, its story to the world.

Who am I to commune with angels?  Where do I get the audacity to speak to angels and masters from invisible realms?  I can’t answer that question.  I’m like you, just a normal person, broken in places, glued back into shape, meandering along the path of my life looking for something new and exciting to give me a reason to press forward and not simply sit still in my own little corner of reality.  I try to explain how I feel at times and have no words.  I can be both happy and sad, blessed and cursed, anxious and relaxed, active and still at the same time.  My mind runs in a million directions, seeking to conquer the seemingly endless array of things to do,  trying to keep up with the ongoing activities of daily life we call “living.”   Are we really living when we’re doing “things?”  Or are we distracting ourselves from some other kind of work, perhaps not really work at all. 

Consider this, what if we human beings are here to simply enjoy life by being involved in all kinds of things that bring us joy?  What then?  Is life a series of activities?  I ask a lot of questions that don’t seem to go anywhere.  This brings me back to broken angels.  It seems to me that if you have an angel statue and it has not been chipped or broken in any way, then you are taking too good a care of it.  I think angels are meant to take the fall for us sometimes and when they shatter on the floor and give up their ghost, they remind us that we also are fragile and impermanent.  Nothing stays the same.  It’s always changing.  Angels are reminders of beauty and love.  They fly into our lives sometimes for a moment, for a day, a few months, a decade, a lifetime, and then they are gone. 

Angels have no wish to hold us back by making us need them so much.  They just want to be along for the ride and if that means that they have to give up a wing or a hand or a halo once in a while, then so be it!  They are not afraid to walk this path of human life with us, and they show us every single day why we have to be proud of our scars and our defects.  Because those are evidence of a life well lived.  We’re not meant to stay in pristine condition.  We have to be loved and touched.  We have to live without fear of breaking even though we know we can break.  Life is like that.  So thank you, Carol’s angel, for sacrificing your form so that I could listen to your message and hear it clearly.  Pick up the pieces, put them in a bin and dump them so they can go back to the earth from which they came.  I’ll be joining you some day, but not before I’ve had a chance to dance and sing, live and love, perched upon a shelf in a powder room.

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