Broken and Beautiful

Once some one is in the depth of darkness, there often seems to be no way out, whether that be in an unplanned pregnancy or a suffocating relationship. Despite a decision or way of life being immoral and the opposite of life giving, it can sometimes seem good and pleasurable in the moment, making the darkness that ensues more difficult to resist. Yet there is hope in the daily human tendency to fall away from the good. Madeleine Coyne reflects on beauty found through imperfection in her article where she presents examples of the beauty in imperfection through classic literary characters. Coyne states, “I believe there is sometimes more beauty to be found in flawed relationships and human frailties than in perfect, happy endings, because it is real.”

Kristin Lavransdatter, a fictional 14th century Norwegian woman, deals with this very problem in Sigrid Undset’s novel. Amidst her lustful relationship with her lover, Erlend, while she is betrothed to another, Kristin struggles to resist the wrong in which she finds herself surrounded. The author reflects on Kristin’s secret love affair with Erlend: “So in this sense of tension there was just as much anticipation as there was terror; there was sweetness as well as anguish. She was unhappy, but she felt that her love for Erlend was like a plant that had been sown inside her, and for every day that passed it sprouted a new and even lusher abundance of flowers, in spite of her misery.” Amidst Kristin’s apparent struggles to resist what she knows is wrong and pursue good, she continues to get up time and time again after she falls in the novel. Coyne concludes, “Kristin Lavransdatter reveals the values of faith, family, and perseverance getting through the hard times in life.”

Mistakes and blemishes to the clean slate of life humanity desires are inevitable. Yet as Anne of Green Gables says in L.M. Montgomery’s novel, “Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet.” It can seem quite arduous to get back up and say yes to life after residing in a dark place. However, a person is not defined by his actions but simply his good and beautiful existence. No matter how many times one falls, there is always hope to start anew.