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on Legos and Merton

March 14, 2012

I hear the crumble, forty-seven tiny pieces clattering on the tile floor, and the inevitable wail.  I know what I’ll find well before I enter the family room: a floor full of sole-shredding Legos and a disappointed five year-old.

legos by macfilko

“It just won’t stay!”  he shouts, near tears.  “I worked so hard on it, and it all fell apart.” 

After encouraging him to rebuild, I immediately identify the problem.  The elaborate structure he’s spent twenty minutes composing teeters unsteadily on an uneven base.

“It isn’t balanced,” I tell my son, demonstrating the top-heavy impossibility of his supersonic space station.  “A building can’t stay upright if its weight isn’t distributed evenly.”

(Caveat: I’m no kind of engineer, despite the authority in my voice.  Sounds reasonable to me, though.)

I show him how to widen the support for his grand design.  Together, we create a broader base, insuring each of the structure’s bricks is fully connected,  and observing its tilt and sway.  When it is finished, he glows.

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm, and harmony,” Thomas Merton wrote.  The building and rebuilding, the clatter and the crumble, and — finally — the getting it right… my happiness usually looks like this.

Tonight, I’m wishing for you a structure that’s both strong and balanced.  I’m hoping you’ve found some order in whatever chaos you are facing, and some happiness in the whole big mess of it all.  Thanks, as always, for showing up.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Emily MacGregor permalink
    March 15, 2012 8:10 am

    I needed that, thanks you. Your blog always soothes me. Your the best!

    • March 16, 2012 10:14 pm

      Thank you, Emily! I miss your face, but love seeing pictures of Ryan on Facebook. Hope things are going great with you guys. xoxo

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