Okay folks, I’m back after a long sabbatical and I have lots of catching up to do.
I’m thinking of using this as a Postscript or Preface to my new novel on brokenness. Thoughts anyone?
Have you ever felt you were floundering, unable to find the right direction? That is the way I felt with this novel. I had a vision of living with brokenness, but it just wasn’t coming together. Until I remembered Nik Chand’s Rock Garden.
I visited the garden in the late 1980’s. It stands as an amazing monument of beauty wrought from what is broken and then discarded. Located in Chandigarh, India, the garden doesn’t have much to do with rocks, but has everything to do with making something splendid from broken pottery, ceramics and bangles.
The ingenuity and creativity, the wonder of taking something that we consider junk, something to be thrown away and turning it into a piece of art, has remained with me all these years. From broken ceramic toilets and basins, he fashioned animal and human figurines. A waterfall cascades down a rocky precipice, made not from rocks but debris. One exhibit portrays life-sized statures made up entirely of broken glass bangles. The figures sport clothing made from these bangles in bright blues, reds and greens.
What most of us see as broken and useless, only to be discarded, Nek Chand saw as something worthy; items that had potential to beautify a barren wilderness.
We might be broken, discarded by family and friends. If we have been abused by a husband, father or mother-in-law, if we have been shunned for who we are or what we believe, if we have been neglected, abandoned by those that were to protect us most, then we are broken people. We may think we are useless, not worth being loved or cherished because we are broken. We think broken is ugly. We may think that there is no hope for us, that we are hopelessly broken and discarded. But Nek Chand didn’t see the garbage of his city that way; he saw potential and he demonstrated broken is beautiful.
This could be us too. There is One who is greater than Nek Chand. If He gave vision and creativity to a man to create splendor from brokenness, then how much more does this One do with you and me? He can take our broken lives and make them new. Maybe, even, maybe, we need to be broken so we can gleam that much more beautifully than before we were broken. Could it be possible that without brokenness we would be eternally hideous. Perhaps brokenness is needed so we can overflow with internal beauty.
Nek Chand’s Rock Garden teaches that we need to see our potential, how to live an overflowing life through our brokenness. The illustration of the garden should motivate others to see beauty in brokenness. And overseeing it all, we, the broken, must allow the Creator, who makes us new creations, to transform and renew our traumatised minds. Like Nek, God can transform broken people into beautiful vessels.
Khursheed moves from living broken in an abusive situation to the starting point of positive change. It is not that she would never know she was broken, but that broken, she could live a happier life. She started the move toward changing the ashes of her life to beauty. Like the broken bangles made into radiant garments on figurines of broken pottery, Khursheed’s beauty will someday shine forth from her broken life. What shape the new creation will be, might yet be another story.
Photo Courtesy of Nek Chand’s Garden