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[2006: MAY-JUN] The Broken Pane


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The Broken Pane

By Lt. Toni Turner

Between failure and success stood a fragile pane of glass, a mere window into the limited Universe that Ensign Talon Lee allowed for herself.

Long gone were her visions of flourishing endeavors filled with desire and the promise of prosperity. Life had become mundane with no volume of ambition. She was content with the status quo, dreaming no dreams, nor aspiring to lofty goals.

Frustration had taken its toll, and the transparent panel was just that - transparent and fruitless, yet she clung to it as a symbol of the costly demise of her own esteem.

Glazed by blindness, her eyes could not see that which shackled her, and in the senseless darkness, her creativity was restricted. Her efforts were stagnating, and no matter how deeply she gazed out the window, she could not see the wealth that lie before her.

Each day she did her duty - nothing less than required, but not one thing more than necessary, and while her crew mates enjoyed the pleasures of advancing rank, she remained an underling, not realizing that it was a subserviency of her own making.

In frustration, she blamed all but herself for the emptiness of her fate, and when that fault was deemed to be the window’s, she lashed out, smashing it against the stony ground of her idleness.

In the horror of the moment, she stared at what she had done. Her one hope was now shattered, and her window closed.

She fell to her hands and knees, wailing one question over and over, "What have I done? What have I done?" Then mindless of the shards that sliced into her skin, she wept hopelessly, until no more tears could be shed.

Her swollen eyes opened, and she stared down at the blood-stained prisms, mindful of their significance. Broken as they were, they represented her only window, and she would have to find the humility to put them back together.

Gathering all the pieces before her, she began to place each one back into the casing.

The first ruby segment, sparkled with truth, the reality that she was sole designer of her own destiny. As she slipped it into place, she took responsibility for the kaleidoscope to come.

Forgiveness glowed from within each consecutive piece, until she could pardon herself for deeds left undone, and make amends.

Using the resourcefulness of the tiny slivers, tasks, before overlooked, were accomplished. With the placement of each fragile fleck came knowledge and honor that she use to right the injustice she had reeked on others and herself, and the restraints that had held Talon’s life prisoner began to unwind.

Mending the window with chips of compassion, gratitude, and generosity, the pane became stable, and a more pleasing tribute to the beholder. Through it, she witnessed the goodness of others, felt the joy of giving and receiving loyalty, and experienced the honesty of her emotions.

She gave unselfishly, and although she asked nothing in return, the vastness of her portal’s scope replenished itself tenfold in the happiness of serving.

When finally, after years of labor, the window was complete, and every shard was in place, Talon gazed through its glistening beauty with wisdom, and saw the validity of pouring blood, sweat and tears into meaningful work. She had become a guardian of peace, a champion of goals, and possessed the insight of true accomplishment.

The pane of glass was no longer the fragments of what could have been. It was now the sum total of what Captain Talon Lee had been destined to be, and she was pleased.

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