Our Scars of Silver and Gold: Kintsugi

Life Lessons learned from a broken hypertufa bowl

Those of you who have read my earlier blog on breaking one of my favorite hypertufa planters will want to read my follow-up on its repair. It is repaired now and even more beautiful than before, and I may have learned some life lessons from it.

image of repaired hypertufa bowl covered with moss

I broke it into pieces, but restoring it with all of its scars became a thoughtful experience, believe it or not.

Broken Hypertufa Bowl - I Learned about Kintsugi

I heard about this kintsugi via the internet.

“Not only is there no attempt to hide the damage, but the repair is literally illuminated..”  –Christy Bartlett, Flickwerk The Aesthetics of Mended Japanese Ceramics

I had never heard of this art form, but these days with computers and Google, the information is at your fingertips. I found many references to an ancient philosophy of the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer resin  and then coating that repair with powdered gold or silver or other precious materials, and in doing so, making the breakage and repair part of its history rather than to discard the item.

There is a similarity to the Japanese philosophy of wabi sabi, an embracing of the flawed or imperfect. So instead of discarding an object which is broken, if we make repairs on the item, we can restore it to being usable again, and even more, it becomes dear to us no matter how scarred or broken.

[su_quote]It becomes more beautiful because of its damage but is now made whole again, and its scars are now a part of its beauty.[/su_quote]

Broken Pot On Pedestal

Kintsugi, My Personal Journey

Just standing back and looking at the bigger picture that this philosophy embraces, an object can represent more to us that just a bowl formed from hypertufa that we created with our own hands.

In its repair, I am embracing all that is chipped, broken, flawed in some way. Those lines occurring as we age, the scars we have endured, these make us who we are and show what we have endured. We are even more beautiful because we have survived.

Our scars show that we have healed and have overcome what life has put before us. And we are more precious and strong for doing so.

I am all the broken pieces of my life. I have put them all together again, and I am stronger because I didn’t allow those things to shatter me. Some scars are hidden deep in your heart, and some are visible to your friends and family. But what you do with your broken pieces make you who you are.

Mossy kintsugi

I am my broken pieces joined once again, and I am stronger and more precious because of it. And see how wonderfully the bowl has survived? It is still in the same place and the strawberry begonia has died away. Miniature Solomon’s Seal is still alive but struggling.

But we all struggle. And so life goes on. Our scars bind us together, keep us together, right?

Have a very happy day and let’s go get our hands dirty!

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