Diana Korzenik: Creative Writing from the Breslov Contemplative Writing Workshop

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This powerful piece is from a prompt for The Sophisticate and The Simpleton, and the lessons we can learn from it about our own, personal three-cornered shoe. The author, “Diana Korzenik is a lauded writer, arts educator, and painter. She was the chair of the Department of Art Education at Massachusetts College of Art from 1972-1987, and in 2014, celebrated the acquisition of one of her paintings by the Brooklyn Museum.” (The Art Connection) She is also the author of Lithuania to Brooklyn: The Rabbi Daniel and Minnie Shapiro Family.” Diana has been a supporter of Breslov projects and books, a student of Breslov teachings for many years, and traveled to Uman with me and BRI Women in 2016.

The Three-Cornered Shoe

by Diana Korzenik

Each of us has a 3-cornered shoe. What is my 3-cornered shoe?

My “3 cornered shoe” is my misperception/ distortion in certain relationships that leads me to block  out the feeling of pain.   A 3- cornered shoe hurts. 

Like the simpleton I want to be happy with what I have “made.” What I have. The fruits of my efforts. 

Sometimes in my little world I am in the midst of a situation “that does not fit”—  like a 3 cornered shoe.

 I can’t even imagine how a 3 cornered shoe would look…but I can imagine how my foot would feel in a 3 cornered shoe. My foot would hurt. Do I do anything? Do I tell anyone? Do I do anything differently?  

What do I do? (as simpleton and sophisticate) Do I pretend I have mastered shoe-making? After all the sophisticate learned gold smithing fast, then he learned gem-cutting fast,  and I the shoemaker  who stayed working at  shoemaking should be doing better now..better  than making a three cornered shoe.

But I keep being proud my skills. instead I pray to refine my skills.

If my 3 cornered shoe-making is being drawn to certain hurtful people —its time I refine my skills, improve my shoe-making. Its time I stop saying of my work,  it is” sweet and perfect” as it is.  It is not even if the shoe makers wife says it is.   It will be  work to understand why my foot hurts in my 3 cornered shoe. It is time to see what I can do differently to avoid pain.

Diana Korzenik  Jan 19, 2021




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