Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Broken Man

Here in the Midwest, we've been freezing our asses off.

We expect it.  Come January, we know that its a fucking battle just to get out of bed.  Even if you keep your thermostat at a decent temp, there's invariably this arctic chill that you can never really get out of your bones exempt of the shower or copious amounts of hot 'fill in the blank' in your mug.

So, feeling idol, I've been practicing.  Composing the written word.  Playing with random writing prompts to try to get the juices flowing to spark something, anything that will help me on my way and keep me connected to the process.

First up to start the new year was an exercise on who I value; who I look up to; who I categorize as my hero?

After I got past the specific people that immediately came to mind, I started thinking about the genre of person that I love...the one I'm the most compelled by...the person who I root for every time.

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, I am in love with the broken man.

Always have been.  There's something enormously intriguing about the person who can't seem to get a break; who grows weary at every turn trying to make a name for himself; and just when he gets close, the dude with his shit together (like his whole life) swoops in and claims the prize.

Now, let me be specific, I'm not an advocate for the chronically broken, unwilling to get back up and try again or worst of all, the bitchy complainer that screams how unfair his life is to the world.

No.  I'm in love with the man who finds a way to get back up every time and is on the lookout for the one chance that this might be his time to rise.

I don't have a bone to pick with folks who experience success with ease or grace; I just happen to love the struggle...the duality of it is rich, complicated, exciting and makes everything sweeter on the other side.

So, here's to the broken man...the guy who's down on his luck wondering how it's going to all work out, feeling like he's given everything he knows to be true in this world, searching for his pie in the sky, believing that today might be the one, hoping against history that his life matters.

This element of brokenness, I think, in fact, I hope is a part of all of us.

It keeps us hungry.  It keeps us humble.  It helps us to remember that life isn't fair, that circumstances don't always work out, but happiness is still there for the taking.  And ultimately, in a culture of extraordinary judgement and shame, it teaches us to be kind and generous.  You may not be down on your luck today or in the way that the man across the street is...but by virtue of your humanity, you too are broken in your own ways.  And, the gift of our shared humanity is that we must learn to recognize the brokenness in each other and lift up the other, hoping against hope that today will be our day to rise.

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