The Unbroken – Rashani Rea

There is a brokenness
out of which comes the unbroken,
a shatteredness
out of which blooms the unshatterable.
There is a sorrow
beyond all grief which leads to joy
and a fragility
out of whose depths emerges strength.
There is a hollow space too vast for words
through which we pass with each loss,
out of whose darkness we are sanctioned into being.
There is a cry deeper than all sound
whose serrated edges cut the heart
as we break open
to the place inside which is unbreakable
and whole
while learning to sing.

The Unbroken


Since the early dark days of December, I have been waiting for a poem to arrive that would speak to the place I have been in, that might offer comfort and direction. This seems to be the one.

Rea tells us that out of brokenness and shatteredness, come their opposites: the unbroken, the unshatterable. So I ask myself, is this indeed possible?

She tells us that sorrow can lead to joy, that strength emerges from fragility – again illuminating the contrasts that may be hidden from us, shrouded as they are in grief.

With each loss, and by now there may be many for you as there have been for me, we are shown a deeper aspect of ourselves, an encouragement to step into a greater whole.

By allowing our hearts to break open, we reach a ‘place inside which is unbreakable‘. This apparent contradiction is necessary to truly experience our wholeness which of course includes all of these dichotomies.

And yes, all the while, we are learning how to sing, how to live fully, without reservation.

21 thoughts on “The Unbroken – Rashani Rea

  1. “To live fully, without reservation.” Thanks, Jan, for introducing me to this poem, this reminder to say ‘yes’ to all of life. Even when the heart is breaking. xo Mary Lou


  2. Jan, how much we need this right now. To be reminded that in the midst of grief and outrage in response to world events, within us there is an unbroken place where we can center and ground ourselves “while learning to sing”. Thank you for your beautiful thoughts as always, love, Wendy.


  3. This duality of the world- out of pain, grief, brokenness what comes….what can only come…
    the other and opposite- joy and beauty. Thank you for sharing this poem. A good one to know of.
    Lots of love to you ! xoxo Laura


  4. The deep truth of this so resonates, Jan. Amongst many others, I love the phrase, “sanctioned into being”.
    Thank you for offering this.
    Love, Jean


  5. Dear Jan,
    Thank you for sharing this poem which speaks to me too. Given the armoring of my heart, like delicate filigree – layer upon layer upon layer – it is almost a miracle when it busts open and another ancient language flows out – and in.
    Love to you.


  6. Dear Jan, this evocative poem is incredibly rich in metaphor and emotion.
    It captures in very few words the depth and the beauty of human existence.

    Thank you,


  7. Oh, Jan, this is just so beautiful and timely also for me. I love what you say about it too – – By allowing our hearts to break open, we reach a ‘place inside which is unbreakable’.

    Thank you for sharing this poem

    Margaret “The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.”

    – Thich Nhat Hanh



  8. Pingback: The Unbroken by Rashani Rea | Heart Poems

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