The Japanese art form of kintsugi: embracing the imperfections of life
Life is not what it's supposed to be. It's what it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference. --Virginia Satir
Life is fragile and, sometimes, our lives and dreams are shattered by unexpected events. How do we find a way towards hope and healing? There are many beliefs and philosophies one may embrace. I'd like to introduce you today to the Japanese art of kintsugi.
Kintsugi is the ancient Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with lacquer mixed with precious metals, like gold, silver, or platinum . If an object of pottery is broken, rather than discarding it, the pieces are painstakingly put together over months. Instead of trying to hide the damage, the cracks are highlighted in precious metal.
For the Japanese, kintsugi is part of a philosophy of embracing our human flaws and life’s fragility. It is about celebrating imperfections. It offers an approach to life. Kintsugi teaches us that in life we can turn adversity into something that is beautiful and resilient. Kintsugi shows us that in time, we can heal from our wounds, embrace our imperfections, and become stronger. Kintsugi reminds us that no matter our difficulties, we can find a way to reframe and find meaning in life. When things fall apart in our fragile lives, there is a path forward. There is a way to find peace with our imperfections and our lives. If you'd like to read more about kintsugi, try this website.
I am imperfect, you are imperfect and that’s perfect. --Author unknown
I would love to hear how you plan to embrace life's imperfections in the New Year?
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I Face the issue then Accept it then Adjust. It isn’t easy and takes time. My cracks are evident in my facial wrinkles. Not filled with precious metals but represent the passages of life and many memories!
Lovely! This sounds like a great place to be. Esther
WOW – I am so happy I stumbled ito this MCI and KINTSUGI. I decided some time ago to use a minimum of medicines and learn to cope with what I have. I had a nervous breakdown a few years ago trying to deal with everything that was going wrong with my mind and body. It was very scary. My shrink was ready to medicate me into the closet. Covid denied me being with my family. I was stuck thousands of miles (and an ocean) away from my family while my mind and body turned that stress, my Parkinsons, and my TBI into exploding my symptoms. I have worked for 2 years on accepting who I am now. The thought that there is a thing – Kintsugi – a pracice that one can weave into your life with acceptance is therapudic in itself. Thank you so much for sharing this and giving me a whole new attitude and perspective. This is a life changing experience. First discovering CONNECT and through connect MCI and Kintsugi. Thank You. There will be more.
Thank you for sharing your difficult journey. I was very touched by your reaction to this blog.
Love your viewpoint. Thank you.
I've been practicing an art form akin to this all along without knowing the name of it. This New Year I plan to have my sewing machine repaired so that I can expand into using cloth mediums. My mother had been fascinated by all things Japanese. I have several boxes of her Japanese books on all subjects that I have saved. I will add to my New Years plans looking through them to find out if any touch on kintsugi.
My father had been a Marine who helped take a number of medical Doctors ashore in Nagasaki so they could log and interview survivors, as the end of war treaty was being signed on Battleship Missouri. I know from looking at his photographs that these surviving Japanese people experienced unimaginable shattered dreams … My father mentioned to me a tea pot he saw that had melted, it of course was still radioactive.
I like the notion of Kintsugi, it can be soul-soothing. 3 Thoughts to like or not:
Perfection is the enemy of excellence.
Change what you can, accept what you can not change, and know the difference.
Contentment vs Complacency. I am nearly always discontent to some extent. I have found complacency abounds, in many. I feel to be real, I need to be true to my Maker. And follow His leadership, content that it will not be easy. Harmony is not always the pathway to peace; paramount is Truth. In the end He will celebrate me as His clay shaped to His will, in Love; and maybe a few cracks too.