My brother and I used to fight all the time when we were kids.

It was usually over something stupid like what we were going to watch on our one TV. I was a big fan of The Brady Bunch and General Hospital (this was way back in the Luke and Laura days). Or who’s turn it was to play on whatever video gaming system we had at the time. Colecovision, anyone?

Things usually turned violent. Punches were thrown. Someone was tossed into a wall.

And then it would happen.


They looked something like this.

The peace pipes mounted on a little wooden frame over the basement door would fall and break.

They weren’t real peace pipes. At the time, our house was decorated in a style known as colonial. The peace pipes were long and white and made out of some kind of fragile ceramic material. They were arranged in an X with the heads of the pipes at opposite ends of the wooden frame.

The crash always ended the fight.

My brother would run to get the Scotch tape and superglue. I’d start putting the broken pieces back together. We worked as a team as we raced to get the pipes glued back together and back up on the wall before my mother came home.

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This show spoke the truth.

Ironically, it was like that Brady Bunch episode where the boys break Carol’s vase with a basketball. Mom always said don’t play ball in the house.

By the time we were too old to be fighting like that, the peace pipes were in sharp white shards that were held together by tape, luck and sheer will.

Another crash or two, and they would be too broken to put back together.

Luckily, we had stopped fighting by then.

These days, I’m those peace pipes. I’ve fallen too many times to count. I’m in a hundred pieces.

And I worry that the day will come when I’ll be unable to piece myself back together.



17 responses to “Broken

  1. Sorry to hear this. I think we all feel shattered at times. I like to use the image of a kintsugi vase when I feel broken. Sometimes broken things come out more beautiful than the original… It’s a lovely piece of writing though! The peace pipes did their job.

  2. I hope those close to you and the love of a good woman will keep you in one piece. ❤

  3. We’re all a bit broken- it’s just Life- but there is still much joy in between all the cracks I promise- seek out whatever makes you smile 🙏🏼🌈

  4. Ahhh, broken. A human condition. Take the pieces, the ones you like best, and create a newer version of the old masterpiece. Broken is just another form of beauty waiting to be birthed. Love you big time. XO

    • Is it a human condition? Re-reading Eckhart Tolle … maybe the answer is in there.

      • You are correct. Perhaps a human ‘tendency’ would be more accurate. One of our many unhealthy patterns. The human condition would be closer to Divine. I really dig Eckhart. Wouldn’t it be cool to spend an afternoon with him?

      • I’m still jealous that you had an opportunity to see Jon Kabat-Zinn.

        It’s been about 10 years since I last read A New Earth. Interesting reading, especially taking into consideration the political division and disharmony in the country right now.

  5. The pipes will always be broken. Are the repairs worth the precious energy you spend on them, or is it time to retire them and find something completely different to ‘smoke’ with?

  6. my cousins had Colecovision and I used to be so jealous! I even considered changing my name to Coleco, but I went with Kameron instead…

  7. A big Butch fist-bump to you. I hope the irritants and blows disappear soon. Keep your chin up! 😎👊🏻

  8. Chronicallyundiagnosed

    I’ve been reading your blog for years now and I can’t remember another post where you mentioned your personal pain. But maybe you did and I missed it. It’s always refreshing to see a Butch revealing his/her soul.

    • I try to stay positive and upbeat, but sometimes I can’t help myself. And it feels better to write about the pain. Butches aren’t tough … it’s all a disguise. But then you already knew that. As always, thanks for reading.

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