7:34 a.m. — Atlanta
… listening to No Myth sung by Michael Penn [did you know there is a third Penn? I didn’t either until my son’s blog today]. Hello, all.
In Zagreb, Croatia there exists a unique museum: The Museum of Broken Relationships. The name catches me every time I read it. On their About Page, they say: The Museum of Broken Relationships grew from a traveling exhibition revolving around the concept of failed relationships and their ruins. Unlike ‘destructive’ self-help instructions for recovery from failed loves, the Museum offers a chance to overcome an emotional collapse through creation: by contributing to the Museum’s collection.
Whatever the motivation for donating personal belongings – be it sheer exhibitionism, therapeutic relief, or simple curiosity – people embraced the idea of exhibiting their love legacy as a sort of a ritual, a solemn ceremony. Our societies oblige us with our marriages, funerals, and even graduation farewells, but deny us any formal recognition of the demise of a relationship, despite its strong emotional effect.
I thought we might broaden the focus a little. The relationship does not have to be a romantic one. Think for a moment, then list, the broken relationships you [or someone you know, or a total stranger you read about] have had. This might include: a first crush, a close friend, first love, a relative, employer, employee… anything where a bond was involved.
Next to each, jot the artifacts[s] you associate with your time together, actual if you can remember, symbolic if you don’t. What would you place in your exhibit of the relationship?
Choose what you are going to go with. Consider the poem as an exhibit. Through focusing on the artifact[s], reveal the relationship, or an aspect of the relationship, or the breaking of the relationship.
While most definitions of ‘broken’ are negative, I see no reason you can’t write humourously. The definition ‘out of working order’ puts a wry spin on the word. Decide on the speaker’s tone of voice. Decide how involved you want your speaker to be, first person, third person, even, in this case, second person, addressing the artifact.
Avoid abstract, vague statements and clichés. Look for specific details and sensory imagery. Above all, have fun putting together your exhibit of a broken relationship [I know that sounds paradoxical, but fun can be had].
I don’t often include images, but glass as an overall symbol for a relationship works well. Besides, it was fun looking at all the broken glass. I shall see you Thursday for some words of wisdom from Henry Miller; Friday for the weekly prompts roundup; and next Tuesday for this month’s image prompt.
Happy writing, everyone.