finding beauty in a broken world-terry tempest williams

“A mosaic is a conversation between what is broken.” (6)

“11. The play of light is the first and last rule of mosaic.” (5)

“Under the Christian emperor Constantine, mosaics were lifted from the floor to ceilings of worship. Glass replaced stone; light shimmered as Truth in the Houses of God.” (11)

“You learn the rules. You learn the discipline. And then you break the rules to find your freedom.” (24)

“Out of randomness, you create order. I express something very deep and then deny it immediately.” (25)

“I used to believe that truth was found only below the surface of things. Underground. I was a disciple of depth. What was hidden was what I desired.” (29)

i didn’t pull any passages (directly) relating to the prairie dogs, but that part of this book is what stands out to me. it’s what i remember. it’s their spiritual little faces that i see when they are kissing to greet each other, or holding a piece of carrot to eat-it’s the prairie dogs. you know that silly job interview question of what animal you would be? well, that’s me-the prairie dog-the unsung hero who makes a difference in her community who takes great delight in the privilege of eating and greeting, who lives to turn the sustainable land and bear witness to the beauty around her, even when it comes in the form of tragedy.

i also learned a lot about mosaics, their making and their history. i am ever fascinated by how canada fancies itself a mosaic as a badge of honour, all the while turning a blind eye to the fact that we are a nation built on the backs of government-sanctioned broken families, and that is why we have inherited all these shards. and that is why we are so fucking sharp.

my forever 27 piece is all about this, and i know it was directly influenced by this book.

i first read terry tempest williams because mark gave me her book when women were wolves, without having any idea about how pertinent it would be to me, or how perfectly timed. she came up again in that wonder-full anthology about writers choosing to be readers not breeders. basically, i’m ready to cosign that she is one of my favourite writers, and that i’m so glad that i get to live in a world where she writes.

with so much gratitude,
thank you.


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