Sunday, March 6, 2016

The World Breaks Everyone

I came across this quotation this week, and I loved it:

The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. 
-Ernest Hemingway

Sometimes I feel strong in my broken places. More often than not these days, in fact. Sometimes I still just feel broken. 

The quotation is a little different when read in full:

The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.

-Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, 1929

As I read the quotation in it's entirety, it seems to be advocating breaking. If we are broken, we can heal, we can get strong again. But to do this we must first yield. 

Four Years Ago

Four years ago in March 2012 we were in the process of deciding to make our second baby. I'd been in my new job for six months or so, and we felt that it was time. We found out the next month on Easter that I was pregnant. I was traveling in Namibia for work at the time. I called home and told my husband. Our baby would be born in December 2012, we thought. Our baby would be a dragon baby according to the Chinese astrological calendar. Very lucky. My dragon baby, my little girl who left too soon, I still think of you every day. Today I filled our dragon vase with pink tulips and put it near your ashes. Soon the flowers we plant each year for you will come up: the pink tulips, the baby blessed iris, the hibiscus, the anemones. All of these living things grow in the world where you could not.