GUEST BLOG: Kintsugi and the Beauty of Brokenness
There’s a new show my husband and I got sucked into recently about jewelry making, and there was something profound that I learned, and subsequently felt a deep connection to. No, not about the art of jewelry making (I’ll leave that to the pros!) One of the contestants on the show was making a piece that was a nod to the Japanese art of Kintsugi. I had never heard of Kintsugi before, so I decided to do a little research. Kintsugi is the process of repairing broken pottery with lacquer that is often mixed with gold or another metal. The idea is, instead of disposing of the broken pottery, you create a “new” piece, but with the cracks and joints beautifully joined back together. I’m a sucker for antiques and overall unique pieces of art, jewelry, etc., so at first, I was sucked into the images I found online (go ahead, do yourself a favor and look this up!) I mean, to think that broken pottery could be turned into even more beautiful art with golden joints, it just blew my mind. If you’re still following, I’d like to tell you how profound and enlightening this concept was soon to become to me. Reflecting on this further, I thought of instances in my own life when I have been broken into pieces - times when I never thought I would recover, and alas, I believed I would be broken forever. The jaggedness of broken pottery was similar to the sharpness of my tone during these times - angry and confused, as well as the sting of the tears that rolled from my eyes and off of my cheeks. During these struggles, I always envied those who had it all together, so “perfectly.” Why did they have to be flawless and without imperfections? I was ashamed to accept that I lie broken and others stood tall. Thinking back to the images I saw online though, I realized how my struggles made me better. In the spirit of Kintsugi, I put my thoughts into motion. Here I was, having gotten through so many things. What I always saw, in my mind, was a broken mess. And yet, the reality was that the glittering gold of the lacquer actually represented every time I fought back and pulled through. Each piece getting put back together made me stronger, but also made me more beautiful, because I rose above whatever challenges I faced. Instead of being a broken mess, I was a beautifully reconstructed piece of art. I had the strength to hold it all together, thanks to the glimmering battle scars that I could show off to the world. I will forever resonate with Kintsugi, reminding myself that even if broken, the pieces can be rebuilt, uniquely and beautifully, and embraced as part of the story that is life. About Stated Passages: Stated Passages is run by Jenn Kennedy, a budding writer, and full time wife, mom, and Human Resources professional. If you’d like to connect or check out more written passages on parenthood, mental health, or life, Stated Passages is located on Instagram @statedpassages or email firstname.lastname@example.org.