It’s about half four in the morning. I’ve been awake for the last couple of hours, reading in a desperate attempt to lull myself back into the land of nod. Despite my book being quite gripping, as usual I still find my mind wandering into multiple seemingly random directions, almost simultaneously. Then one thing occurred to me and I’ve been stuck on it. In a vain attempt to quiet my thoughts, I figured writing it down and sharing it with you good people whilst enjoying a mug of hot vanilla soya milk, might just do the trick. Worth a shot eh!
So I got to thinking about the Japanese tradition of Kintsugi; the art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver or platinum. In itself, it’s a very interesting philosophy; the result of which is quite beautiful and forever unique. The concept is to treat breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to either disguise or render it useless. This being the limit of my knowledge on the subject, I decided to do a bit of digging. Mostly because, the idea of lavishing something that has disintegrated through trauma, being reborn embellished in such a bold and extravagant manner, speaks to the hopes I have for my future. The idea that these broken ceramics can become so individual and more beautiful by laying bare their flaws, accentuating them in a purposeful way, is a delightful concept to those of us who truly feel like we have and continue to break into a thousand pieces, day by day.
It’s worth noting, when this technique was first crafted, it was so revered that people were accused of deliberately smashing valuable pottery, just so it could be repaired with gold. I can’t help but envy this philosophy of embracing the flawed or imperfect, of illuminating the cracks and repair, accepting almost celebrating that it’s simply an event in the life of the object. How incredible would it be to live in a society where this philosophy leaks through to all aspects of life?
I don’t know what brought this technique to the forefront of my mind at stupid o’clock, but I couldn’t help but draw parallels between this and another post I wrote “Fibromyalgia is a Jigsaw puzzle”. This is how I see the path ahead of me, pieces of a much larger whole, which need to be meticulously rebuilt. I find the notion of rebuilding myself, illuminating the marks of wear, the cracks, the repairs quite liberating. How adversity, trauma, hardship can actually forge a type of unique beauty and strength I would never have gained if not for the fall. I’ve often thought about the potential hidden silver lining with all this. Feeling like I had to experience this, to be broken down to my most vulnerable to learn something, to get me where I need to be. That may sound crazy to some, but I think twisting this on it’s head, thinking of what I may have to gain, something that I could never have grasped or even contemplated before, really feeds the hope and positivity in me. These ideas are what keep me fighting, experimenting, picking myself up and sharing my journey.
I think my analogy here is easy to grasp. Imagine yourself as a smashed piece of pottery. You now have the opportunity to reassemble yourself in a unique, beautiful way. Remember that no matter how broken you feel, how many cracks are on show; you can choose to rebuild yourself the Kintsugi way. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. What matters is that you embellish those imperfections, wear your proof of life like jewels on a princess. At the end of the day, we are all the sum of our experiences, so wear yours with pride and honour. It’s the least you deserve!!