“The world breaks everyone and afterwards many are strong at the broken places.” – Ernest Hemingway –

Kintsugi – translated from Japanese kanji 金継ぎ | 金 – Gold | – Repair, succeed, inherit, continue

Kintsugi – The Japanese art of gold repair

Kintsugi is a practice of repairing broken vessels by sealing the cracks with lacquer and dusting them with gold powder. But it is more than fixing the broken pottery, it is the philosophy of recognizing beauty in broken things. It speaks of breakage and repair becoming part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise or hide. Japanese believe that the golden cracks make the pieces even more precious and beautiful. Over the centuries Zen Buddhist masters in Japan developed an argument that pots, cups, bowls that had become damaged shouldn’t be neglected or thrown away. They should continue to be respected and repaired with care-the process symbolizing a reconciliation with the flaws and accidents of time. This process is reinforcing some big underlying themes of Zen-like wabi-sabi- which cherishes what is simple, unpretentious, imperfect and aged.

It is beautiful to think of this practice as a metaphor for our life, to see the broken, difficult, or painful parts of yourself as radiating light, gold, and beauty. Kintsugi can teach us that broken pieces can make us stronger and better than before. When we think we are broken, we can pick up the pieces, put them together, and learn to embrace the cracks. The practice of Kintsugi can help us to take a look back on our own experiences and all that we have healed and sealed from. So often we do not pay attention and we do not appreciate our work and progress.

Embrace past wounds, scars and internal struggles…

We live in a culture where we expect perfection and condemn ourselves when we are not perfect or when things don’t go our way. Kintsugi can help us to embrace past wounds, scars, internal struggles and accept their value and lessons. In conclusion,  like the humble Japanese art of gold repair symbolises – the deepest pain, the biggest fears, all struggles forever change us and are among the most beautiful, precious and admirable parts of us.