We may shine, we may shatter
We may be picking up the pieces here on after
We are fragile, we are human
We are shaped by the light we let through us
We break fast
We are glass
Like a grain of sand, he was transformed – in the heat of hard-scrabble youth, manipulated by the fires of misguided misandry, and fused on the steel of permissive neglect – into a spun glass cast, one he has worked to chisel out from inside of ever since. Misspent adolescence led to a bewildering adulthood, one he approached with all the reserve and cautious preparation of an infant fascinated by a scorpion.
He had no way of knowing how terribly his choices would sting.
We are each an amalgam of our experiences; what we learn from them informs our decisions, shapes our responses, and determines our next steps.
We are, fatalistically, What We Are. And yet we are what we make of ourselves.
He has made himself.
It has taken a lifetime, and it is still a work in progress, but he is shattering the yoke of his past and stepping with cautious confidence into the future.
He is a study in contradictions: nervous anticipation and shy confidence, defeatist hope and humble pride. Both weary of the mantle of responsibility that cloaks his shoulders and at a loss for what to do when it is removed, he feels the ghost of its weight even when it is no longer there.
She lifts the weight.
He tells her he has done things of which he is not proud.
“Me too,” she says, and opens her arms to hold with care the fragility he offers up with such strength.
Here, and here alone, he is free to just be.
Here, in the circle of her embrace, he is just a man – one man – and that is all she needs.
He is the glass.
She is the light that shines through it.