The Art of Kintsugi: Making the Broken Places Beautiful

Kintsugi

Kintsukeroi or Kintsugi as it is also known, is the Japanese art of repairing damaged or broken pottery. Rather than simply gluing the shattered pieces back together, it takes the time to purposefully and painstakingly highlight the breakage using a mixture of lacquer and powdered gold, silver or platinum.  Far from trying to hide or disguise the object’s damage, its philosophy celebrates its “broken places” as part of the item’s history and inherent value. Kintsugi became famous for turning broken objects into works of art even more beautiful than their original state. With roots dating back to the 15th century, it’s rumoured to have become the fashion to purposefully break an object just to have it mended using the art of Kintsugi which in turn would increase its value and appeal.

Kintsugi highlights the cracks as quite simply an event in the life of the object. Its philosophy rejects the notion that breakage represents worthlessness, or something to be seen as ugly or the end of its use. It symbolises not only the importance of embracing damage but turning the broken into something beautiful.  It unabashedly highlights the cracks in liquid gold to create something even more unique, more special.

18-inche-kintsugi-plates

From an inspired living perspective I find the philosophy of this delicate art form truly aspirational. I see it as a beautiful and poignant symbol of the importance of not trying to hide our imperfections, our weaknesses, our ‘brokenness’. It illustrates the power in not only accepting our damage but embracing it at the heart of what makes us beautiful.

I have long believed we are initially attracted to people for their seeming ‘perfection’ however we actually fall in love with them for their imperfections.  Their confessions of fear, insecurities, sadness, their sorrow, their grief. Their broken places. Think about a friend, co-worker,  lover, anyone you feel close with. Chances are what created that bond, that trust, wasn’t a perfect Hollywood moment but perhaps something a little, or a lot messier. Perhaps they shared with you their insecurity, their failures, their fears. Maybe broke down and confessed their unhappiness, problems, their guilt or mistakes they have made along the way. More than likely it was one or a string of these moments which were the catalyst for letting your guard down, and allowing the walls around your heart to melt just that little bit more to connect to theirs. At the end of the day people like the idea of perfection but in reality love connection.

I chose this topic as the focus of my first blog post on my new website because in many ways, its what being ‘Absolutely. Positively. You.’ is all about. Being you in all of your authenticity, your uniqueness, without apology. Not coming from a place of high ego, or low ego but courageous enough to be vulnerable, real and willing to show up for life and others. It’s about laughing at the messiness, and celebrating the breakage, allowing it to be your gold, not your guilt. It’s about being unapologetically you and not trying to erase or cover up where life may have broken you. And much like Kintsugi, it’s about making your broken places beautiful. Viewing them as events in your life and part of your story but at the same time at the heart of what makes you unique, worthy, and golden. Living a life that is quite simply, absolutely, positively, you.

‘The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills.’ – Ernest Hemingway


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