Tuesday, June 22, 2010

dance yrself clean

"break me into bigger pieces
so some of me is home with you"

these lyrics confused me until this evening when, as i was riding my bike of course, they slid into alignment and clicked in my mind. i had just worked in the humidity and the sun for eight hours digging holes in the woods and walking walking walking in heavy boots across black pavement. i was on the last mile of my 24-mile-commute home. the last mile was a hill. a gravel hill. each rock jarred my rear wheel from the road making my pedal strokes ineffective and costing my already burning legs extra energy they didn't have. my heartbeat and breath sounds overpowered the bass and percussion pumping through my headphones but these lyrics still rang through. how can someone be broken into bigger pieces? from one whole can't you only get smaller pieces? bigger pieces just doesn't follow the law of conservation of mass... i didn't get it. just before the lyrics passed over my mind i had thought, "if i make it up this hill today, tomorrow i'll do it again and i'll be stronger and it'll be easier." at that moment i realized that when we are broken into pieces we grow. when all that we have is smashed and ground to dust, if we pick up the flakes and assemble ourselves we stand taller than before. physical exertion causes tiny tears in our muscles that, when healed, become stronger than before. similarly our love is not always capable of reaching all those who we want it to reach. however, if it is broken by some painful sacrifice and we rally in reassembling our heart, it will stretch to envelop all those who we love. the steeper the slope, the more jarring the stones, the more copious our affection will be the next day. today i climb the hill, tomorrow i'll be home with you.

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