I don’t know much about Japanese traditions, but I just found out about this one a few days ago and it literally felt like I was pouring gold inside my heart. It’s called Kintsugi literally translated from Japanese as “golden joinery”. It is the tradition of fixing broken pottery with a mix of resin and gold, silver, or platinum – instead of trying to hide the damage, they actually highlight it and turn in into the very thing that makes the pottery unique.
“Not only is there no attempt to hide the damage, but the repair is literally illuminated… a kind of physical expression of the spirit of mushin…. Mushin is often literally translated as “no mind,” but carries connotations of fully existing within the moment, of non-attachment, of equanimity amid changing conditions. …The vicissitudes of existence over time, to which all humans are susceptible, could not be clearer than in the breaks, the knocks, and the shattering to which ceramic ware too is subject. This poignancy or aesthetic of existence has been known in Japan as mono no aware, a compassionate sensitivity, or perhaps identiﬁcation with, [things] outside oneself.” – Christy Bartlett, Flickwerk The Aesthetics of Mended Japanese Ceramics
It got me thinking about how we always try to hide the moments when we broke down, we hide both our physical and emotional scars because we think they make us weak and vulnerable, but what if our scars, what if our damage is what makes us beautiful, what if acknowledging we were once broken allows us to be covered in gold and shine today. Looking back at my life, I can either choose to see myself as broken and full of scars or I can see the light that shines on me because I’m covered in gold.
How do you choose to see yourself?