I had a long overdue appointment with an eye doctor yesterday. I was not looking forward to an agonizing ride home, squinting after having my pupils dilated. My wife drove me though and I felt supported.

I had a profound insight about relationships during this visit. One never knows when lightning strikes.

I sat in front of the eye charts and she placed a divider over my left eye. You can picture this. I could barely read the lines and was surprised because I don’t need glasses except for nighttime driving. When she covered my right eye however, I could read every line with little effort.

When she removed the divider I could see the chart just fine with both.

She checked my ability to read up close by covering each eye again, only now the results were reversed. The left eye was strong and the right very weak, so weak I couldn’t read much at all.

Together, with both eyes, I could read the chart fine.

I have been reflecting how this is an act of love; partners with similar intention working together to compensate for each others weakness. One wasn’t overpowering the other, no, they naturally worked together to deal with what is distant and what is close and bring the greater ease.

It is so simple I almost overlooked the simplicity and strength of this relationship and how it can show up in my life.

This inspired a poem shown below with an accompanying video link celebrating my very first newsletter and the essential nature of the work I do!

REPAIR AND RESTORATION

He brought the shattered
rose tea cup
to the ceramic repair shop
on Fifth Ave.

He lay the
white handkerchief
on the owners counter
and waited patiently
for her attention.

How did this happen
The woman asked as she sat in front of him.

He hesitated,
It is my wife’s, her favorite.
She squeezed too hard.

Flecks of blood stained the fabric.

And who died
She asked.

He was quiet.
Her father.

Can it be repaired

Are these all the pieces
She asked.

Yes I am sure of it.

She nodded.
Come back next week.
___________________

She placed the restored tea cup
into the man’s open palm.

It is remarkable, I can’t see
A crack on it.
How did you do it?

She walked to the door,
turned her sign to closed
and called back,

It is only half complete.

He held it up, spinning on his fingertips.

But it looks as good as new!

She stood next to him
and placed her forefinger
inside.

There like a confused
spider web were all
the seamed cracks.

But surely who can tell, really,
this cup is only used by
my wife.
She can live with the cracks-
don’t worry.

He reached into his pocket
for his checkbook.

How much

You can pay me in 30 days under
one condition.

Taken aback,
he listened
and agreed.

______________

For the next month,
every evening after supper
he made tea for his wife.

Together in her study they
sipped,
spoke,
laughed,
whispered,
prayed,
cried,
until the teapot was emptied.

At the end of thirty days the
cracks disappeared.
Her cup was complete.

They paid the full price.

Showing 4 comments
  • Alice

    Barry, I love this post. The story and poem work well together and at the same time, each could stand on its own. I feel like I got a two for one deal! I love the tone and the simplicity, but at the same time it carries a hefty and important message I needed reminding about. Thank you.

  • Wow Barry, I have tears in my eyes. Thank you so much for this beautiful poem. Blessings to you. (Oh, I popped over from Heart of Business.)

  • Dana Leigh Lyons

    Beautiful, touching story that emerges in your poem, Barry. I also love your line and image around partnership here: “One wasn’t overpowering the other, no, they naturally worked together to deal with what is distant and what is close and bring the greater ease.”

  • Lia Ayley

    This is beautiful, Barry – story, poem, and video…”I have been reflecting how this is an act of love; partners with similar intention working together to compensate for each others weakness.” This so describes one aspect of my relationship with my husband! Beautiful.