Dear Mom,

You made me. Provided the raw material, lit the forge, and hammered away. Skilled craftswoman though you are, you were a little too ambitious. You’ve heated me and hammered me, over and over, a rock and hard place, drawing me out to my full potential. But you sacrificed. You can’t have it both ways. You traded strength for extension, flexibility for toughness, and your product is long and brittle. Nothing can scratch me, but I crack under stress. If you’d striven for less, understood the limitations of your material, used less pressure, I wouldn’t reach as far, I wouldn’t be as sharp, but my strength and resilience would yield perfection.

Now your forge has gone out, leaving no opportunity for normalizing cycles or annealing, and I must find another craftswoman to weld me back together again.

Yours, with conflicted feelings