"When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised God doesn’t work that way, so I stole one and prayed for forgiveness" EMO PHILLIPS
Have you ever noticed how relationships are like glass?
When fractured or broken, do you leave relationships that way or risk exposing your vulnerable side in trying to put them back together?
This complicated adult stuff never concerned us when you and I were little kids. Back then, bruised shins and skinned knees were easier to fix than broken hearts.
Today, TSB is focused on the painting at the top of this post.
Graffiti Angel. Broken.
The piece is a product of a famous British graffiti master known as "Banksy".
He is the kind of guy who was once quoted as saying "Think outside the box? Collapse the box, and take a fucking sharp knife to it!" Asked about his technique, Banksy explains, “I use whatever it takes. Sometimes that just means drawing a moustache on a girl's face on some billboard". Dubbed as "Britain's Most Wanted Artist", Banksy's utter disregard for the conventional has him involved in a number of pranks including walking into the Louvre in Paris and hanging a portrait resembling the Mona Lisa but with a yellow smiley face.
"Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing.
And even if you don't come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can
make someone smile while they're having a piss"
Banksy has an edge.
But if you study the painting above, he also has a heart.
Interpret what you want, but while heartache can be numbed by the old black rum, great works of art are like a shot glass for the soul; transcending pain for peace. Have you ever wondered what it is about the work of great artists, poets or musicians that can drill into the oil of our emotions, causing us to gush with feelings never otherwise expressed?
Study the painting again.
Take a good look.
Hold your gaze for about thirty seconds.
Allow yourself to see your own reflection and think of other angels encountered along the way.
Has Banksy captured a part of you that aches for a healing far too painful to attempt, lest the other person know the size of the hole in your heart? When you think of that person, is there a darkness you try and navigate by day and gradually spiral into at night?
Thankfully, there are artists that find a way to celebrate sorrow, yet somehow lift wuthering spirits to new heights.
We are all broken in some way.
Few knew it better than Ray.
Ray Charles was blinded at six and orphaned at fifteen before overcoming tragedy and poverty to achieve respect, fame and wealth. Although hugely successful in his professional life, Ray never hit the jackpot in private. If Ray was on Facebook he would describe his status as "complicated". How else would you explain two divorces and fathering a dozen children with nine different women.
However, much of Ray's greatest music is thought to be a reflection of those broken shards of relationship glass.
Shortly before he died, Ray gathered his kids at a 2004 Christmas dinner, handing each of them a check for one million dollars. One of his kids recalled, "My dad talked about how they always wait until a person passes. He said, 'Why do that? I'll give it to you now so you can build on that now. It wasn't publicized because he was a very private man."
Hopes and hearts are fragile.
Relationships and angels easily shattered.
Yet artists like Banksy and Ray - one who refuses to be seen and one who couldn't see - vivdly demonstrate how pain can be converted to joy and darkness into light.
As the Easter weekend approaches, do you need to be more protective of the angels surrounding you? Is it possible you could let a broken one - an angel you can't stop loving - know yet again, he or she is not alone? Perhaps now is a good as time as any to send distant angels a message; letting them know how high they were meant to fly and how much they are loved.
Easter reminds us that life is to be interpreted not simply in terms of possessions, but in terms of ideals.
Easter reveals that truth can be buried in a grave, but won't be trapped forever.
Easter provides each of us yet another opportunity to rise again.
And communicate "I Can't Stop Loving You" with whatever words and actions necessary.
Will you do your best this Easter weekend, reach out to angels still broken and share that message with whatever means possible.
Do we have a deal?
"Angels, roll the rock away;
Death, yield up thy mighty prey:
See, He rises from the tomb,
Glowing with immortal bloom"
THOMAS SCOTT, Easter Angels
P.S. ... Inspired by Ray, a couple of Dutch brothers - angels broken many times over - were able to share a similar message in a different way.
P.P.S. ... This is the third consecutive Easter season in which this post has been published. Evidently, there is a deeper, more personal reason for that. As someone with a public persona who values dignity and personal privacy, this is painfully difficult to even write about. In that respect, I can only share that there is an angel I would love to reconnect with, but to date, those efforts have yet to bear fruit. They say time heals a broken heart but, like Ray says in his song, time has stood still since this angel and I have been apart. That being said, after exhausting all other avenues, this forum is the only way I know how to extend an olive branch of hope; that someway, somehow, someday, the depths of these thoughts and feelings will find their way into the heart of an angel who has always been loved and is greatly missed.
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