It always seemed fragile, delicate, the way it allowed light to pass through it. It wasn’t particularly heavy or so I thought. I did always have that fear that it would break. I imagined the blow, inevitable as these things are. After all you can never protect something like that forever especially if you use it. Like anything you take out of its storage the more use it gets the more wear and tear happens.
And, just like that favourite plate, eventually it will be knocked against something hard or dropped. And if you give it to someone else, even someone you trust to look after it, even if you surround it with protection, they will eventually want to see it properly, to admire the light that shines through it so beautifully. But as lovely as they find it they could be careless and mishandle it. They might turn out to be someone who doesn’t pay proper attention to its care. Instructions get ignored sometimes. It happens. Complacency leads to negligence. And even if it only gets dinged a bit you can’t get rid of those scratches. You’re stuck with them. I’d seen how careless others had been with theirs. Though that’s not fair. As I just said accidents do happen. I can probably think of a couple of times I either scratched someone elses or came very close. I always tried to make amends but it’s never the same no matter how small the damage. Really all anyone can do is apologise and try never to do that again.
The people who do the same damage over and over, they’re the ones to avoid. Not just complacent. Not just careless. Real negligence.
Promises of change that are never kept are possibly one of the cruelest things we do to each other.
I watched other people believe and thanked the universe I hadn’t been caught up in that. But then you find you trust the wrong person yourself. You don’t realise until its too late that you’ve fallen into the same trap as everyone else. Because at this point it does feel like a trap. You were kept there, breathlessly waiting because they had possession of it. How much damage would be inflicted if you demanded it back. Would they do deliberate damage out of spite. At this point you’re not sure. Fear does funny things to us. But if you ask nicely will they dismiss you? Refuse to return it. Greedy hands clutching and grabbing trying to keep all that beauty for themselves. Not malicious but definitely selfish.
And then there’s the desire to show it off. To all their friends, “it’s going to be so great for them to see it”. “Just let them see it”. “No, they don’t have to reciprocate, that’s not the point, it’s about what you should be doing”.
But what about my friends? I want to show it to them. They share theirs all the time with me. I should be able to use it for my own ends. After all that’s what it’s designed for. My own use.
Eventually I tell. I don’t demand (too rude). I don’t ask (it’s not a request). I just say I’m taking it back. There’s a confusion, I don’t know why which confuses me no end. And I have it back it’s mine all mine. I hold it close and admire it. It’s not dull, it still shines. A few dings, but they’re not that noticeable, surely. Maybe. I’ll see with time. I’ve got to keep an eye out that I don’t worry over them incase I end up making them worse.
Some of my people have been waiting to see it for a long time and I’d like to take it to safe places. Plans are made.
The crash I’d dreaded comes out of nowhere. It’s as bad as I suspected. Possibly worse for its suddenness. I’m still trying to sort that part out. But it didn’t break. I looked at it from every angle. Nothing I could see. It seemed miraculous and a bit unfair.
Tougher than I ever supposed. I’d heard so much about this type of thing. Why was mine exempt? Why was I exempt? Why was I not allowed to show the damage? Why was mine unmarked and denied evidence of the loss?
A small part of me marvelled that it was tougher than I thought. Over and over I was assured that the break would happen. One day, just a light tap, all the unseen damage would fracture it into a million pieces. There would be no way to stop it.
So the waiting began. I went back to my life, I looked at it occasionally. I definitely shielded it more than I had intended but the ever present worry was there in the back of my mind. Days. Weeks. Months. I spoke to someone who knew about fixing them just in case but the break never came.
And then one day the light was at its brightest and I saw it. Straight through the centre. A crack that reached from the top all the way through the centre. I only noticed it by accident because it was reflecting the light so wonderfully and clear. It was a straight, sharp sliver delving into the centre. It was a spear point. It couldn’t be moved or covered or buffed. If I wanted to admire it I had to see the crack.
If it was straight through the centre it must be in danger of breaking all the time. But I had to keep going. I took it everywhere. And as I brought it out and put it away over and over I realised it wasn’t as delicate as I had always assumed it must be. Despite the damage it wasn’t going to fall apart. It wasn’t going to split. The internal shape was forever changed. So I held it in my hands and I pressed. Harder. I tested it again. One more time. Not even a creak of glass against glass. It was more dense than I had thought, even after having it for so long. And the damage was severe. Permanent. But it was much tougher now.
Not glass but diamond.
Picture courtesy of Pixabay.com used under creative commons licence.