Life is a funny thing, and I often think about how people are like glass.
I don’t mean people are transparent. Most glass isn’t actually transparent as much as translucent anyway, but I mean in the way they are shaped and formed and how life changes them.
Glass is an interesting substance, much like people. It can be one of the strongest, hardest substances you can use, but at the same time it can be fragile and brittle. Even the strongest looking glass artifact can hide a major flaw that with the right impact at the right place will cause can the piece to shatter. Glass can be crafted into exquisite, delicate structures that are breathtakingly beautiful, but are often the most fragile.
How a glass piece starts off is just half the story though, the other half is the environment it is subjected to. Glass is subject to impacts throughout it’s life. These impacts can cause chipping and sharp edges; they can cause cracks or break parts off the piece.
Some glass is built for strength and is placed in a role where that is it’s main function. It thrives there, and as long as nothing different is asked of it, last a long time.
Other glass is crafted for beauty. As long as it is sheltered and looked after it can remain an inspirational piece, but if it is mistreated the edges can become chipped and sharp leaving the piece ugly. I know people like that. They started out looking good but through constant misuse have sharp chipped edges and require care when handling.
I know people who resemble a glass sculpture, they are beautiful to behold. They have had some impacts that have broken a part off. It is obvious to people that they have suffered but their structural integrity remains, and their beauty endures like the famous Venus de Milo sculpture.
I tend to think of myself as a rough hewn lump of glass. I have some obvious and not so obvious flaws. I don’t have many edges that are susceptible to being broken off so I look pretty unchanged over time.
But with such a piece there is always a chance that the next impact will be one that splits it in half.