Tag Archives: Greensboro

Brokenness

May 4, Greensboro, NC

Something is wrong, or about to go wrong. It’s a fundamental truth, the beginning of wisdom. Everything breaks. In our case, it was a shackle pin.

Who knew trailers had shackles? A lot of people, apparently. Just not me.

There are four shackles, each holding a wheel in place, keeping it from drifting out of alignment. Then suddenly there were three. It’s of academic interest unless your tires begin grinding against each other or an axle is torn free from its mounting.

No life is without adversity. Something is either broken or about to break. It’s not cause for despair, simply a fact built into our universe. Shit happens. Get used to it.

Except that we haven’t gotten used to it. We’re still expecting our plans, our lives, our civilization to last forever. We act without understanding the balance of brokenness.

Leonard Cohen wrote in Anthem, “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”

Perhaps we would be a less arrogant species and less harmful if we acknowledged our own essential imperfection, our brokenness, and walked more lightly upon the earth. But maybe that inability is characteristic of our peculiar imperfection. It’s a conundrum.

Who am I to say? I’m towing a broken trailer across America celebrating the apocalypse.