Sunday, July 12, 2015

Burnt Toast

How many times have you burned toast in your life?  Me… I have burned loaves.

I remember when I was little, and if you knew me, you’ll remember too, I was the kind of kid that would throw a fit over burned toast. A real fit, an end of the world fit, the kind where you have to restrain the child because they are flailing and may well hurt themselves kind of fit. Yep, that was me. 

Somehow, my mother survived that. “No problem” she might have said, as she scraped that toast with a knife, and the darkest crumbs fell into sink or the garbage. But you could not ever convince me that toast was not ruined. It was ruined, and I would never eat it no matter what. 

Then my mom would say, “Okay, I’ll make you new toast.” And proceed to give me my old toast after pretending to make new toast—and voila, I was happy. At least for the moment. I didn’t realize then of course, and maybe not until this morning, that much of my life has been burnt toast.  I have scraped the burn off of many a'slice. 

I’ve scraped it off my broken heart, my fragile ego, and my frail and dusty brain. Sometimes, I had to throw a fit first. Sometimes, I just wanted to throw myself away and give up … piece of shit toast. I’m toast. I’m not worth saving. But then… I would scrape myself off. 

Burned toast is temporary. It’s fixable. No, not without some scars… there will be spots visible to the naked eye. Everyone will see them, but they’ll think – wow… good for you toast—you saved yourself and you look pretty damn good. And toast will look in the mirror and say… “yep.” 

I’ve had the opportunity, recently, to review my life a bit. I usually try not to dwell on the past, I have made so many mistakes that thinking about the past undoubtedly brings up some remorse, some regrets, and often some embarrassment. But when I look at is as a whole… my mistakes made me who I am. My successes did not. My burnt toast made me a better cook. My burnt toast taught me how to fix things that are broken and still use them. They are still good. They are not broken. I am not broken. YOU are not broken. 

We are just burnt toast.