sarajevo – beauty from sorrow

by jani on January 30, 2013

Several years ago, I received a beautiful vase, gifted to me by a woman who had worked, along with her husband, to help in the peace process of the wartorn regions of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The vase was carefully and painstakingly carved out of brass. She told me that she had always placed a live flower in this vase to remind her that something beautiful can come from something so tragic. I often think of the “Cellist of Sarajevo” (Vedran Smailovic) and how he gave of himself, oftimes performing in the decimated areas of his beloved homeland. If you don’t know his story, I would recommend your clicking my link to learn more.

Here is my beautifully carved vase with one of my favorite flowers… the rose.

sarajevo 3

The artist who meticulously carved this beautiful brass vase had included the name of his city, Sarajevo.

Sarajevo Collage 1

 Now, there’s so much more meaning behind the making of this vase. You see, it was found in the streets of Sarajevo, where so many were killed by these shells. That’s right, it is the shell casing of a 50 caliber automatic weapon. It was used for horrific reasons – to kill oppressed people over religious and political differences. The artist who carved this shell and turned it into an object of beauty, had thousands to choose from…. for they were found everywhere in the bombed-out city that had once been so beautiful prior to this terrible war.

Sarajevo Collage 2

I don’t understand hate –  I don’t understand anything that would hurt, injure or kill a fellow man, woman or child. It is so foreign to me. But, I do know that out of tragedy or sorrow, we can often find beauty or goodness, even if but a tiny shred. This small vase is a daily reminder to me of this principle.

sarajevo 5

In recent months, we’ve had many tragic and horrific incidents invade our lives. Some of us have had closer ties to these events than others. However, I would like to believe that for every evil act, there are many more that emanate goodness and show, through kind deeds, that our world can be a better place.

May we all strive to not only look for beauty during sorrowful times, but also bring beauty through our own thoughts and actions.

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