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Humpty Dumpty as a Mosaic?

3 Comments 24 June 2010

One of the many mosaics I saw at Villa Romana del Casale in Sicily

My friend Judy commented that I might want to consider pulling all of these ideas that are floating around in my heart and head into a quilt instead of a mosaic.  Judy said, “I understand what you are saying, but instead of making a mosaic (which I think of as being rigid, with fixed dimensions and breakable) why not gather the ideas and put them in one place like a comfortable and comforting quilt?”  I was taken by Judy’s comment, as I am ALWAYS taken by her comments.  She is a wealth of wisdom and she is a beautiful storyteller.  I love stories, have I mentioned that I loved stories? 😉

I have pondered the mosaic or quilt question, probably more than most, but hey, that is just who I am, so deal with it people!  Judy is correct, a mosaic can be rigid, with fixed dimensions and breakable, but I think I view it from a different spot.

I think all of life is broken.  I don’t say that with cynicism, I am simply looking around at the restaurant in which I am currently sitting and I see beauty amongst brokenness.  I see the big group of women, ages 5 to 65 all celebrating a birthday and they are lovely.  I love to see women celebrating life, and yet there in the middle of the celebration is an adorable little one who is obviously in the midst of chemotherapy.  She has a smile as wide as a canyon and brown eyes like her beautiful mommy and sister (both with amazing black hair!) and her little head is as clean, as…MR. CLEAN!  She pranced right in front of my table in her pink tu-tu and grinned ear to ear.  (I think she liked my computer!)  But to me, she is the part of that picture that reveals we live in the midst of brokenness.  Even our most lovely and beautiful moments here are full of little broken pieces, inside and out.

I don’t remember reading nursery rhymes when I was a child and the particular religious phase I was in when I had young kids kept me from reading them to my kids back then.  I am sorry that I did not enjoy the whimsical and fabulous tales that have stood the test of time with my kids when they were babies.  But hey, MH will always, to an extent, be a baby, so it’s never too late, right?  AnyHoo, as an adult I am very drawn to the tale of Humpty Dumpty.  I just plain love ol’ Humpty and feel as if his story is my story.  All of the king’s horses and all of the king’s men can not put me together as I was meant to be.  I think we are all broken, all in pieces, but pieces are great for mosaics.

The art of creating a mosaic is intriguing to me.  I spent about ten days in Sicily, Italy for my 40th birthday with my best friend who is an artist, so we took in a lot of art.  One of the multiple places that we took in was the Villa Romana del Casale and it was full of amazing mosaics that have been preserved because they were covered in a landslide in the 12th Century A.D.  It was other-worldly to see these masterpieces, centuries old, still in beautiful condition.  All of the millions of pieces put together in the perfect pattern to create beauty, to tell a story.

And that is the art of making mosaics, taking broken pieces and putting them together to create a masterpiece, a story, a picture, a glimpse of what could be.  My life is a mosaic.  I am Humpty Dumpty. But the crafting of the mosaic takes time and it doesn’t just happen over night.  I feel very, very broken.  I feel that I am in pieces most of the time, but that does not drive me to despair.  It only gives me hope that my pieces are being made into a vision.  I truly believe that there is a divine artist at work, picking up piece by piece to make beauty out of chaos and brokenness.

I do love quilts.  I love the comfort and the warmth that they bring and I have decided I will see my mosaic not as a fixed and rigid thing, but a fluid and comforting thing, like a quilt.  I want my life to be wrapped in it and I want to wrap those I love and those I meet with my mosaic.  Either way, I am in pieces and I am being put together again.  I hope my Humpty Dumpty will be a lovely mosaic.

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3 Comments so far

  1. The pure beauty of quilts is the creative license the quilter has to ‘put the pieces together.’
    As a nationally recognized quilter, I pride myself on each one- having made very few in my life.
    So, dear little one- do not worry- the mosaic of your life can be pieced slowly over time- and cherished, enjoyed and loved in the process.

  2. Judy Helfand says:

    As the sun goes down here in Tucson, I am marveling at the thought that the three of us find ourselves discussing quilts and mosaics. What I know for sure this evening is that I am happy to have met you both. The pieces are all coming together and isn’t beautiful!

  3. Kristy says:

    I shared this quote on my blog the other day because it has so much meaning for my life right now (and for the novel I’m working on), and it fits right in with what you’re talking about:

    “…in a sense we are all seeking the same thing. We want to prepare a good soil in which grace can grow; we want to regard the cracks and fissures in ourselves with fresh eyes, so that they might be revealed not merely as the cause or the symptom of our misery but also as places where the light of promise shines through.”

    — Kathleen Norris from Acedia and Me: A Marriage, Monks and a Writer’s Life

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things to make you wonder~

“I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wondering awed about on a splintered wreck I've come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them...” Annie Dillard

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