Beauty of the Flawed

by Alan Altany

“There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” – Leonard Cohen

We are cracked, broken, scarred,
always unfinished, always partial,
we are part nothingness, part
empty, and part lunging
towards the alluring affliction
and plague of classical ideals.
Our common and flawed beauty
frees us from the anguish of
being perfect and relates us
to each other in a communion
of the impermanent and the
worn, faulty and limited,
companions of the Crucified One.
Our wounds and leaking emotions
allow us simply to be loved
as the incomplete humans 
we perfectly imperfect are.
Like cherry blossoms in spring
and golden leaves in autumn,
we fade and often fail in a
blaze of breakdown and cracks
that make each of us uniquely
insufficient, deficient, and
delightful in ordinary moments
of unsought sacred enchantment.

Dr. Alan Altany is a partially retired, septuagenarian college professor of religious studies and theology who is still teaching. He has been a factory worker, swineherd on a farm, hotel clerk, lawn maintenance worker, high school teacher, small magazine of poetry editor, director of religious education for churches, truck driver, among other things. In 2020, he had published a book of Christian poetry entitled A Beautiful Absurdity:  Christian Poetry of the Sacred 

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