Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering.’There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in. – Leonard Cohen
You can crack an egg, crack a window or crack a safe. You can crack a book, crack a beer or crack a code. Did you know that in chemistry, to crack is to break a substance into smaller molecules with heat? You can crack a joke, crack a door, or be a crack-shot. Or a crack-pot. Or a crack-head. You can crack down on your teen or crack up trying. You can crack up your car or crack up at the family reunion when drunk Uncle Bert plays “pull my finger” with former missionary Aunt Bertha. And, you can crack any way you want at the crack of dawn.
For the most part, cracking is about opening. That turtle will never wrestle out of that sandy egg and waddle to the water without some cracking going on. That new butterfly ain’t got a chance of flapping, flittering or fluttering until the chrysalis cracks open. Fish gotta swim and birds gotta fly; but none of that gonna happen till some shells crack and break. And though we humans didn’t scramble (so to speak) out of an egg, we did slip and slide into this world only after our amniotic sac split open and “broke” (as they say) water.
Then, there are the seeds. Whether you’re a flax, pumpkin or sunflower seed…a chia, poppy or locust seed… chickpea, garbanzo or Indian beechnut…oak tree, pine tree, apple tree, cherry tree… Did you know that maple trees drop their seeds in helicopters? And most good college students knows that marijuana seeds are far better for growing than smoking. But no matter what the seed, unless that bad boy cracks, germination and growth just ain’t gonna happen. And new life takes a back seat.
So maybe that is the way life works. Maybe our lives have to be cracked for new life to emerge. Maybe our routine, our friendships, our jobs, our ideas, our opinions, our beliefs, our traditions, our joy and our happiness need to be cracked now and then for freshness to flourish and vitality to be viable. None of us necessarily likes to be cracked. We’d rather keep it like it is, thank you. Seems safer that way. But what if our next new adventure is waiting in the wings until something, somehow is cracked open and lets the light in?
This would put the kibosh on the idea that safety and security are the way to fullness of life. We build walls to make us feel safe while forgetting that these same walls box us in. It could well be that our safety and security must get cracked one way or another if we are to ever grow new sprouts, buds and blossoms and bear any fruit at all.
And then, there’s laughter. Laughter may well be the best medicine because it cracks you open as it cracks you up. They don’t call it “sidesplitting” or “belly-busting” for nothing. Whenever you erupt in laughter, for one glorious moment, all your worries, fears, apprehensions, grudges and resentment instantly disintegrate. You are free and clear. In that regard, laughter may be the best prayer you can pray – opening to God, to The Mystery, to The Infinite with absolutely nothing blocking the way.
So, the next time you’re feeling a bit cracked or as if life is cracking you apart, remember that it might not be the worst thing that can happen. Whether it’s painful or hilarious, cracking might well be the first step in seeing the world in a whole new way – of living and thinking in a startlingly fresh and vital manner.
What if there’s more to you than you think? Have you settled into the silly sedentary assumption the you are a finished product? What if, in fact, you are not a finished product but you are more of a seed or an egg just waiting…just needing to cracked so you transform and grow into what’s next? If you don’t get cracked, who knows what wonders and experiences you might miss? Life is definitely in the cracking business. Life, you crack me up!