Recently, I heard the word “mosaic” used on a radio talk show. The person who used it, followed with a simple explanation that a mosaic is a whole made up of broken pieces. I thought that her simple explanation was an excellent metaphor for life. A life is a whole made up of broken events. Now, let me make something clear; I don’t mean for the word “broken” in this metaphor to imply any strong negativity regarding life. If you think about it, usually an event is only an event when it has a start and finish, therefore, broken within a continuum of time. When we look back on life don’t we see it in terms of different phases, levels, eras or events?
So, how can viewing life as a mosaic be of help to us? I don’t know about you, but I often find myself thinking about my own life in terms of a few outstanding past events and whatever is presently happening. In other words, I am incorrectly thinking that my life is just a few broken “pieces” and not as a beautiful mosaic of which the new “broken” pieces are being added to create an even bigger one. Another idiomatic saying that illustrates this is, “can’t see the forest for the trees.” Though that saying is good, for this posting I will stick with mosaic.
The main point of using “mosaic” as a theme for this posting is how it fits as a metaphor for a life. The mosaic can be a beautiful work of art where the finished product is made up of many broken parts that by themselves, lack the completeness and beauty of the whole. I have often been to a memorial service for someone who has died and been reminded of how a life has such a “mosaic quality.” It is not unusual for those in attendance to make remarks about how the deceased would have loved the memorial. And, what is it, that the deceased would have loved? Usually, it is how beautiful her/his life was when viewed holistically. Not the view of the “last days” or one particular incident, but from childhood to the end. Various events are pointed out, happy times remembered and interesting stories told that demonstrate how the life of the deceased is so fondly admired. In other words, all the “broken events” in one’s life creates a “mosaic work of art (life).”
How about a comment on life as a whole?