So I read one time on the internet (which is a 100% reliable resource (something I also read on the internet)) about a Japanese art of repair called Kintsugi. Officially (again according to the internet which, as previously discussed, is totally trustworthy), it is defined as “the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum”. Which is to say that the repair is exposed and celebrated instead of hidden.
I think there’s a lot I could say about this. That it’s not hard to draw a comparison to our own lives. That living with the knowledge we’ve all been broken in one way or another frees us to spend less energy trying to hide our damage so we can honestly revere the ways in which we and those we love have been repaired. That it’s really quite beautiful to think the ways we have variously been torn apart and put back together make us who we are. That it’s imperative to note the beauty of these pieces is not in their brokenness but in the reconstruction of them afterward.
But this isn’t Sunday and I’m no preacher (I feel like this needed some cheesy western music in the background to be a truly effective statement. Do me a favor and turn on the soundtrack to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly real quick and read it over again).
My little ones and I painted terracotta pots today for an art project. I chose the cracked one (not just out of motherly generosity, I must admit) and decided to try my hand at emulating kintsugi by tracing the cracked and chipped areas with a gold paint pen. I plan to use it as a reminder of the ideas encapsulated in my mini sermon up there.
Because, let’s be real- broken isn’t really beautiful. It’s heavy and dysfunctional and lonely. But whole again, and a little wiser for the wear, is breathtaking. We’re all pretty broken. But we’re priceless repaired.