Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Snow Day the Second

Snow Day Number Two. The house is warm and secure, but parts of it are what you might call ‘broken.’ It needs so much work. Essentially it is solid, but I see the places where restoration needs to happen, where cracks and shifts show me what it needs. Brokenness is sometimes just a pain in the ass, but it can also be beautiful. As I sit and look out over the snow-touched landscape of the mountain forest outside my window, I see the beauty in the brokenness of the big hornets’ nest falling apart in the cold winter air. I see it in the psychedelic vibrancy of the top part of a glass Victorian gazing ball I once had on a stand in the front yard. Now the glass ball sits atop the glass table on my snowy deck and captures hints of the shapes surrounding it. I notice the shards of a broken cup, pale green and cream colored with strands of peat-brown. I remember when an old boyfriend of mine, a man I almost married, bought me that cup at the local Arts Center. There were tiny insects—not ants, more like candleflies or termites, but not quite those either---all over the larger, deeper pieces of pottery on the table with the cup. There was something haunting and curiously compelling about their presence, there in the sharpening air of late autumn. I think now too about the brokenness of memory, or its potential brokenness. Who can say when a memory’s life becomes broken? Perhaps it never fully does. I do know that the courage a person with such a memory can have is more powerful than many other things that are, or seem to be, fully intact, whole, and undamaged. The way such a person asks kindly and respectfully for the favor of a phone call for information, over and over even after the information was acquired and written down in two places, can begin to break my heart. I think of the patience that question entails. Its asking implies that that question has already, perhaps, been asked and not acknowledged or responded to. It does not harbor irritation or anger in the context of that. It just, quietly and lovingly, asks again. There is something about that echo that reminds me of the grace of prayer. I am not sure if I am thinking about the listener or the one who is praying, or maybe of the Voice of God and the one receiving that Voice. Maybe it’s a dialectic of both. Maybe the asking and the answering are so closely connected that they can become almost the same. I don’t know what that would look or sound like. Maybe that coming together would obliterate the need for asking, but maybe not. Maybe the asking would carry its own grace, its own respectful, adoring petition for inclusion in the heartbeat of relationship. There is, inherent in all of this, a sweet brokenness that, paradoxically, is not truly and finally broken at all, at least not in any sense that keeps out what needs to get in or keeps in what needs to be released. This Lent, living into that heartbeat seems to be what I need. I don’t know how to define it or describe it more concretely or adequately. It wants to come to live in my heart, and I want to let it. That’s all I seem to need to know for now.

©Laura Sorrells 2015
all rights reserved


  1. There is, inherent in all of this, a sweet brokenness that, paradoxically, is not truly and finally broken at all, at least not in any sense that keeps out what needs to get in or keeps in what needs to be released. )))

    never identified and said any better))


  2. I don't know where that came from. Thank you, Erin.

  3. "There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." ~Leonard Cohen

    A beautiful, soul- feeding write, Laura. Thank you for sharing. xo

  4. Laura, this is some truly beautiful writing...

  5. Thank you very much. I really appreciate that. Nice screenname.


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About Me

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Georgia, United States
I live at the edge of the forest in a little town in the north Georgia mountains. I teach sixth grade Language Arts and am writing a memoir of sorts about family, spirituality, and narrative. I am also exploring a possible writing project having to do with contemporary lay contemplative experience and how it might be informed by the Desert Fathers and Mothers of early Christianity. I am a relatively recent convert to Roman Catholicism and an admirer of Pope Francis, Leonardo Boff, Joan Chittister, and Richard Rohr. I'm a Lay Associate of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery in Conyers, Georgia. I am interested in indigenous cultures, narratives, and spirituality, especially how these can inform my spirituality as a lay contemplative. I write, read, take pictures, play around with creating ephemera from paper and cloth and other organic things. I cook, hike, watch wildlife, and collect random bits of interesting oddness, both tangible and abstract. I am a seer of smallness and a caretaker of ridiculous minutiae. If you want, e-mail me at or