Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Another broken mirror
When I was a kid I loved snow. It's got to be a requirement of being a kid. Of course being from Texas snow had super powers like canceling school and getting us un-grounded.
When you are a kid you are content taking things at face value. Snow is for play. Snow is pretty.
But I'm not a kid anymore. And somewhere along the road to adulthood I've traded my childhood love of snow for a deep dread and scorn. Yes. I hate snow. This makes many of my friends very sad.
It's true that I dislike snow for some superficial reasons. It's annoying to travel in especially when you don't have a car. It's cold and wet. It's dangerous. It's only pretty undisturbed. The little annoyances pile up into a wall of dread. My friends pray for snow. I pray against it.
But those aren't really why I hate snow. I hate what it represents to me. Snow is the perfect reflection of Japan.
In Japan it's rare to actually clean or fix anything. Just slap on a fresh coat of paint or wipe the counter with a rag and cold water. Who cares about soap？ Why fix the problem when you can cover it up？ As long as it looks nice right？
This is the condition of hearts in Japan. The Winter landscaped hearts, broken, lifeless, dried out and malnourished. Or waterlogged and rotting. So many different combination's of brokenness and hollowness. And take all those pitiful hearts, all the ugliness of Winter and cover it with a pure white blanket of snow.
At first I associated it with redemption, covering our sins and brokenness with righteousness. But then I saw it instead as our own feeble attempts to hide our ugliness. Oh and lets numb the pain while we're at it. Oh yes, just look at the beautiful world we have now！ The cold numbs and preserves our hearts for us. The snow makes us beautiful. Like exquisite kimono or works of art or brand names. Now we can ignore the truth right？ Just pretend everything is OK because we can't see it any more.
And it's beautiful. Until we move. Our footprints leave dirty marks and puddles revealing things hidden. Our cars rip ragged ribbons from the fabric. The sun and heat from our not quite dead hearts melt from both sides.
Then we become aware of the dangers. We slip and fall from unseen ice and holes and obstacles we've forgotten. Everything takes more energy. People die.
And the beauty becomes marred.
And I long for the bare starkness of the truth. I long to see the reality and not guess at what's hidden. I want to walk without fear.
I would trade hollow beauty for truth any day.
So this is why I hate snow because I see the pathetic human condition reflected back at me and it makes my heart heavy with the weight of it.
And I find I am no different from those I have Judged for trying to vainly cover their naked woundedness. I too try to cover my reality with a comfortable blanket, until the snow takes it away. And I want to ignore what I don't like or that which is uncomfortable.
So maybe I should accept the snow instead of hating it. It's yet another truth of our broken world.
(the pictures are taken from the Elementary School I worked at today. Going to school wasn't fun at all, but fortunately it melted by the time I needed to go home. Yay!)