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Fall for the Cracks

November, 2021

Letting the Light In

During this month when gratitude is much more on our radar, I have an invitation for you. It’s going to seem so simple but beware: the results may be profound.

I invite you to fall for the cracks.

Accept my invitation and you'll have an opportunity to appreciate and celebrate imperfection.

Extra credit for loosening the grip that perfectionism may have on your expectations of yourself. Or others.

So, why the cracks?

For the past year, I’ve paid more attention to the crosswalks in my neighborhood. I've seen the beauty in their variety. Each crosswalk, just like us, has a unique back story that explains why it looks different from when it was first "born."

Each crosswalk has elements of beauty.

I started taking photographs of those that particularly caught my attention. I had no idea why I was doing this.

One day, lyrics from a song called "Anthem" started playing in my head:

"Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack, a crack in everything

That's how the light gets in"

~ Leonard Cohen

Now, the crosswalks I spot on my daily walks serve as a prompt. I often cut to the chase and simply say to myself, "that's how the light gets in."

And if the light gets in, so will the joy.

Go ahead, fall for the cracks. The cracks in everything.

“Nothing we see or hear is perfect. But right there in the imperfection is perfect reality.”

~Shunryu Suzuki

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Prompts For Joy

Click here to witness two award-winning comedians.

Click here for music involving unique percussion instruments.

Click here for all previous Prompts for Joy.


Pictured Above

Above: Crosswalk Cracks, Palo Alto, CA. Photos by Martha Clark Scala.

Below: Mandala. Collage by Martha Clark Scala

Further Below: A sample page from Chapter 14 in my memoir, Assembling a Life: Claiming the Artist in My Father (and Myself).



For those who have expressed an interest in my collages, you can follow me on Instagram.


Why Assemble a Life? An Interview with Author and Artist, Martha Clark Scala

What motivated me to write Assembling a Life: Claiming the Artist in My Father (and Myself)? Check out this video to find out. Comments and feedback welcome!


The Clark household, where Martha was nicknamed Happy, was utterly devoid of religion, yet for Martha it was a place of magic and divinity. A divinity to be found in the resilience of family members, the joy of household pets, and the creative juices that produced her father’s many paintings. In these, she finds a faith unencumbered by ritual and churchbound conceits. And this may be the purest faith of all.

James Hanna, Author, The Ping-Pong Champion of Chinatown, The Siege, Call Me Pomeroy and more.

Above, a sample page from Chapter 14 of Assembling a Life. This memoir is loaded with color photos (and some black and white) on just about every page. A visual feast.

For additional book reviews, click here. To purchase the premium softcover or e-book versions of Assembling a Life, click here.


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