The flaw in the brilliant diamond

photo (6)Once upon a time I had a teetering, yet outwardly normal, life.  My then-fiance decided to buy me a diamond, even though I insisted I did not want one because of the terrible karma diamonds carry, generally being the products of slavery.  He insisted.  And he demanded that I pick the stone myself.

So I launched into a whole epoch of diamond-related research.  I learned about color, clarity, cut, and inclusions, commonly known as “flaws.”

Now you would expect that something called a “flaw” would decrease the value of the stone.  But in reality, stones of a certain type, among the higher grades of stones, are more likely than not to contain an inclusion.

I fell in love with the idea of having a really fine stone that did contain an inclusion.  This stone would be unique among all the stones in the world.  It would be mine.  And it would reflect my view of what a quality human being is:  of a certain clarity, a certain brilliance, and flawed.

For a very long time, my bipolar flaw was my ace in the hole.  It fueled my creativity, my ability to make something out of nothing, to take an idea and bring it from conception to birth at warp speed.

Yet unlike the diamond, my flaw has grown.  It clouds my clarity.  It scatters the light of my brilliance.  Rather than being an asset, it has become a liability.

What will I make of this life that I have been given, this flawed diamond of a life? Certainly the Creator had a plan for me, has a plan for me.

36 years ago I attempted suicide.  I was very nearly successful.  But at the last moment, I was in the black tunnel, and the blinding bright white light said to me,

“You will go through the fire, and you will come out shining.”

And I was sent back, was resuscitated, and I am still here, wondering when the fire will end and the shining will begin.

© Laura P. Schulman, M.D., M.A. and A Canvas Of The Minds 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Laura P. Schulman, M.D., M.A. and A Canvas Of The Minds with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


9 thoughts on “The flaw in the brilliant diamond

  1. This is a beautiful metaphor, Laura. “And it would reflect my view of what a quality human being is: of a certain clarity, a certain brilliance, and flawed.”

    I can’t tell you what plan the Creator has for you, but I can tell you this: The fire will never end, it will be your companion until you draw your final breath. The trick is to accept that and learn how to keep it at a low flicker, never letting it become a raging bonfire.

    As for the shining, already it has more than begun. And one day you will shine so brightly that the fire will seem dim by contrast. All it can do to you in those moments is reflect the light of your diamond, making the jewel blaze that much more brightly.

    • Thank you, dear Ruby. Rabbi Nachman of Breslav said, “The whole world is a very narrow bridge. And the main idea is to never be afraid.” Grasping that paradox and living in it is the art of life. I think that one difference between ourselves and (to borrow a word that I love, that exactly expresses what I mean when I use it, from J.K. Rowling) the “Muggles” who live their lives blithely and often indifferently, is that although all of us (including the Muggles) are on the narrow bridge, we who are given (borrowing now from Anne Rice) The Dark Gift are aware of it. We sway perilously. We hesitate to look down, and yet, and yet…the blackness of the abyss calls to us in the velvet voice of a seducing lover. “Half in love with easeful death.” But not now. No! We have a job on this earth, we are sent here with a mission. But what is it? Few are gifted with that knowledge. Sigh.

  2. reading you reminds me of the joy i used to get from reading francis bacon’s essays. the gathering of various souces of into a coherent thought stream. winding, unwinding, reconfiguring, building ideas one to another. Aaaahhh.

    I’m a hack at best, but i do appreciate beauty when i see it. I found a website that says “You Write Like….” and it computed my style [hey mom, i got a style] as similar to J. D. Salinger. I laughed all the way to the hermitage.

    My posts to you, and Ruby, and Lulu keep me sane and creative. In my 67 years, i’ve learned to do one OR the other. and i’d be in jail or worse if it weren’t for my wife’s forbearance.

    • Be still, my heart! Thank you, Taxi. I’m blushing and smiling. I do enjoy writing, and occasionally when the muse and I get on the same wavelength, something comes out that actually expresses what I hoped it would. It’s gratifying to know that someone else appreciates something that spoke to me. That someone being you means a lot to me, as I know that you know truth when you see it. I’m glad your wife keeps you out of jail, however she manages to accomplish that.

  3. i DO edit myself! i do. i do. i do!

    its the aphasia. i get frustrated. i curse. i wheel myself around in my chair like Little Black Sambo’s tigers. .

    I wish to write like i used to. my aphasia is as real to me as our mood disorder is to both of us. [is that a bad construction?]

    {[rules! rules! rules! off with their heads, the red queen fumnited
    [the spell checker tells me it should me FUMIGATED!]
    i wanted flumated no, fluminate. fulminate! in my MIND i can’t see the difference…say it out load… one letter at a time……… you get the picture.]}

    anyway. i really wanted to encourage you, make you laugh, make you… … …love me? Look at the lengths i’ll go to perform? i’ve been accused by a close friend of “its all about me” ego stuff. what ever. in my limited way i say, “i love your writing”.

    • Aphasia seems like the ultimate curse to a person whose medium of expression is words. I help my father with it. Word wanted, directory not found. OK, what did you really want to express with this word? We will talk all around it. Eventually the word might pop into my mind. “Serendipitously?” I venture. “YES!” he sighs, relieved. It seems to cause an internal pressure that finding the word relieves.

      Sometimes I get a real laugh out of the spell checker. I also have a bit of aphasia, from multiple head injuries. It’s been intensified by the series of rTMS that I’ve had in the last few years in Canada, where they use much higher energy magnets than they do in the US, and for that reason they have higher success rates. I think I’ll write a post about it. But anyway, sometimes when I can’t find the word I want, I start typing what I think are the first few letters into my iPhone app and it spits out contextual suggestions. Often my word is waiting for me in there, and I snatch it triumphantly. It is very satisfying. I guess that’s second best, huh? If my brain won’t work like it used to.

      Do you leave trails of ghee in your house, wheeling your chair around and around?

  4. The diamond in my wedding ring is flawed too. My husband chose it for its uniqueness – also the clarity and color – which says a lot about his taste.

    I love the sensibility that the Amish (or is it Shakers or Mennonites?) have about perfection being an insult to god. They intentionally include a flaw in everything they craft, lest they become too proud. Of course, one can find pride in such humility as well. But I still love the idea that everything has a flaw.

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