I once listened as a man described another man to me as this beautiful piece of art that was sent to Earth and somewhere along the way it was all crumpled up. Like someone took it and just wadded him up like a piece of paper and now someone else was trying to unfurl it.

That image never left me. The man he was describing was a man I was having issues with. The nicer I was to him the angrier he got and it went on for months before I finally asked someone who’d known him a long time what to do. He explained that this guy, we’ll call him Frank (not his real name) was once a bright, normal guy when he first fell.

Frank was young, had a bad childhood and was small. So he joined a prison gang and spent the next 15 years mostly in the hole. My friend told me that Frank spent about 10 solid years in the hole and when he came out this was the man that emerged.

He said the man used to be much worse but as Franks rough corners and crumpled knots met smooth, rounded surfaces like mine he smoothed out himself just a little more.

I liked that metaphor because there is so many pieces of art that are our fellow humans that got crumpled up and tossed away. If someone would just spend the time to unfurl and decrumple the paper, just to see. I bet they’ll find something bright buried within.

With Love
Ruth Utnage