• Bonnie Lowry Vallette

When we feel broken

Updated: Feb 9

When recovering from surgery or a health set back due to accident or injury, you might have a sense of being broken. Granted, recovery can take a great deal of time and effort, but that time and effort may produce greater wellbeing than you enjoyed before the surgery or health set back.

Think of the recovery of a broken bone. We know that a few weeks into healing process, the bone at the break is stronger than a normal bone. What if that is true for all our feelings of brokenness?

Kintsugi offers a way to think of mending that adds value to the healing process!

To join with gold: kintsugi

Adorning broken ceramics with a lacquer mixed with powdered gold is part of a more than 500-year-old Japanese tradition that highlights imperfections rather than hiding them. This not only teaches calm when a cherished piece of pottery breaks; it is a reminder of the beauty of human fragility as well.

The kintsugi technique is an extension of the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, which sees beauty in the incomplete and value in simplicity.

In a world that so often prizes youth, perfection and excess, embracing the old and battered may seem strange. The 15th-Century practice of kintsugi, meaning “to join with gold”, is a reminder to stay optimistic when things fall apart and to celebrate the flaws and missteps of life.

In an age of mass production and quick disposal, learning to accept and celebrate scars and flaws is a powerful lesson in humanity and sustainability.

~ Terushi Sho

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