The Tibetan Singing Bowl that Necko-Chan the cat sent crashing to the floor last week is singing again, thanks to my husband's handiwork with a blow torch and soldering materials!
When he brought it in from the shop yesterday, I struck the bowl and noted it's amazing resonance, that lovely deep sound I have grown to love since I first got it...and then I noticed, along with that dependable resonance, a new sound, something else that hadn't been there before it's crash, something quite different.
When I told my husband it sounded different, I think I hurt his feelings a little bit, because I wasn't skillful enough to articulate what I was hearing: the old tone, and a new tone as well, a new harmony. He took the bowl back out to the shop to clean it up a bit, saying something about the surface being bumpy and that he could have gotten a better repair with a smoother surface.
And he was gone before I could express myself a little better.
Later in the evening, we tried ringing the bell and making it sing, and it was heartening to have it repaired and usable.
I said, "It's just a little cracked, like me, like everyone."
We laughed, but I realized that was what I was hearing--the new tone beneath the old was the sound of imperfection, the sound of a crack!, and the ever present compassionate embrace and truth of the Buddhadharma.
It is all here to be experienced, and the crack in the bowl serves as the reminder: we are all imperfect beings, embraced by compassion and wisdom.
Often times, it is exactly those cracks, mindfully regarded and accepted, that add a new timber and resonance to our being and to what we offer one another.
My husband was almost able to make the bowl appear as if it had never experienced the great smash; that is, after all, how he makes a living, he renovates priceless antiques and tall clocks. But I am happy I can still see the scar of life's experiences on the bowl. It still has a lovely singing voice!