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  • Whether the destiny of love lies in the solemn mercy of the sacred or in the fortuitousness of the profane, we will never know with certainty. Regardless of whereto and why it has disappeared, (un)deserved tribute to that which remains is paid for the sake of what it once was.
    ~ Lamenting Love in Paris

    With these words we are introduced to a traveling collection of artifacts belonging to a unique museum, recently unveiled at a cultural center in Paris. The institution is called the Museum of Broken Relationships:

    Conceptualized in Croatia by Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić, the Museum has since toured internationally, amassing an amazing collection. Although often colored by personal experience, local culture and history, the exhibits presented here form universal patterns offering us to discover them and feel the comfort they can bring. Hopefully they can also inspire our personal search for deeper insights and strengthen our belief in something more meaningful than random suffering.

    This museum has elicited tremendous response from patrons. Many rush to donate to it mementos of mishaps. One of the founders remarked that ceremonies and institutions mark births, marriages, deaths and achievements, but almost never failed relationships, which so often elicit shame. But are they not worthy of, if not veneration, than at least study?

    I can think of many Cowbird authors who might resonate with this project, so I urge you to look at the museum's
    site, and to lobby to initiate a new saga to collect our broken relationship stories, past, present and future. I would simply call it Broken. Cowbird already has a First Loves saga, but even though they may overlap, this isn't quite that.

    Meanwhile, I will start a collection, Broken. I ask anyone who wants to add a story to it to add a tag Brokentale when editing their story. I'll search for the tag and add those stories that use it to the collection reasonably often. As far as I can tell, no author has yet tagged any existing story with the word Brokentale even though "broken" gets used a lot.

    So enjoy the museum and let us know what it stirs up in you.

    @image: A Wedding Dress, 1994-1997, Berlin, Germany
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