We stood around the sculpture in the sun, shadows casting perfectly, light spilling through the open spaces, the green hue of the image basking in its intended setting...
A couple of Wednesdays back, I had the privilege of listening to the sculptor of a current piece of public art discuss his newest addition to Chattanooga's outdoor sculptures which are scattered across the city. His sculpture, Wedged, conjures thoughts of two pieces, whether animate or inanimate, most certainly intimate, separated by time, space, a rift, a disagreement, a lie, a truth...a wedge.
Of course, we all looked. We walked around. We asked questions. We made comments. While we all felt these two pieces were once together our imagined relationships were different: mother and child, lovers, an axe, a textile to name a few.
"'Even though I can tell these two pieces were once one, it looks like they may have been apart so long that they won't fit back together anymore." Someone offered a statement that stirred my mind in revelations.
How many situations, people, parts of life work out that way? How many times are we part of something that works as a whole, but when taken away from it, we are apart for so long that we no longer fit together upon a return. Friends, jobs, lovers...self. We are so close to these people and situations that we know the next move, the next breath, the next words like a heartbeat in the clockwork of our lives. Then we move (away to college, off to a new job or city) or take a break (an extended vacation, a mission trip, a separation to re-group) or meet a new idea that shifts our perspective. And the rough edge where we once fit perfectly to someone (or something) else begins to change; the surface of our soul softens or sharpens and we don't match exactly anymore where we once connected like two pieces of a puzzle.
What if my soul mate and I have been apart for so long, having never found one another that we don't fit? What if my dearest friends and I have been in separate places for so long our lives are too different to be compatible? What if I look in the mirror and don't recognize myself? What if we've all been apart so long, we no longer fit together?
Isn't that how most of life is, though? Didn't we all once fit? To God. To Spirit. To One. To each other? Then, we were broken apart, wedged, fragmented. Maybe that's part of our purpose, to continually soften and sharpen until our pieces all fit together again. Or to learn how to love and live even with the incongruities, knowing we are all parts of a more magnificent Whole.