I have always loved mosaics, and have recently been contemplating the “life as a mosaic” metaphor. It’s similar in concept to life as a tapestry, quilt, puzzle, etc., with each experience a thread or patch or piece coming together to make a beautiful whole. What I like best about the mosaic metaphor is how it changes the parameters for the individual pieces. When working with glass or ceramic, rarely will you get a clean, smooth break––and when making a mosaic, this is exactly what you want sometimes: there is an awkward space to fill where one side needs to curve and the other needs to form a right angle, or you need a piece with a jagged edge to fit in next to another zigzaging piece. The final product would not be as interesting or unique if it was not composed of pieces with sharp borders and chipped corners, broken and rough scraps assembled with great attention and intention.
This feels true to my experience of life. Sometimes you have to work a little harder to make the pieces fit, and sometimes you have a shattered and razor-edged fragment to try and reconcile with the others… and then it turns out to be the very piece you needed to fill that one space, in that one section with all the watercolor blues and greens. And, damn, is it ever breathtaking.
Yes, sometimes you need to slap on a little extra grout to make it all fit together, but, really, who’s keeping track?
tags: life learning