Sometime early last year, I ate some cereal late at night while watching a movie, relishing in a juvenile mutiny against all norms. In any case, in my delinquency, I kept the ceramic bowl right near my feet. Tired and a little out of my wits, I knocked it over when I got off the rug. The bowl shattered into about five or six pieces—small and big. I collected all of them and sat to research how best to repair ceramic bowls. At that moment, I believed I could fix anything with the right tools and suitable adhesive.
I got a box of epoxy resin, a trustworthy solution. I mixed the epoxy and began to attach the pieces together. I became ecstatic to see the bowl get back into shape. I left it to dry and settle for two days and seven hours. I have always taken pride in my patience. Upon preliminary inspection, the bowl seemed good as new. There were a few cracks and some resin I had to wipe off, but it was a bowl, ready to be used again. Yet when I poured some water into it to check, it fell apart. All the pieces came off in my hands. Disappointed, I shoved the pieces into a box and kept it in the cupboard above the kitchen sink.
The next day, I tried some super glue, and slowly, my worst fear came true. The pieces were too thin and broken in the wrong places; the resin had made it all worse. My desperate attempts only made a mess of what was left. Eventually, I shoved all the pieces, now full of leftover glue and resin, into the box again; I forgot all about the bowl. The other day, I saw a box in the cupboard above the kitchen sink. Immediately, I emptied it into the bin.
I often tell people we learn everything twice. When life has to teach you something, and life has something to teach most of us, it does not start with the large things. It takes the smaller things away, simpler things, like a bowl. Only when we don’t listen does the happiness leave, and the love evaporates. What was the lesson, you ask? “Sometimes, some things are too broken to be fixed.”
And yet, almost over a year later, as I recall it all, I can’t help but wonder: how would we know for certain till we tried?