Kintsugi: Precious Scars

I was link hopping the other day (jumping from page to page on the internet using links provided on the page) when I came across something that piqued my interest. Kintsugi; a Japanese art form whereby if you break a bowl, mug, vase or some other piece of pottery/ceramics, you can fix it with a special lacquer infused with a precious metal. Gold dust, for example, can be used to enhance the ‘scars’ of the broken piece at the same time as fixing it.

I found the following here, and it really resonated with me at the time of reading;

By repairing broken ceramics it’s possible to give a new lease of life to pottery that becomes even more refined thanks to its “scars”. The Japanese art of kintsugi teaches that broken objects are not something to hide but to display with pride.

Some call it the art of precious scars.

Kintsugi supports the philosophy that everything is worthy of a second chance, that flaws in an object can be repaired and coated with gold to make it all the more beautiful, and even stronger. I love the idea of this art for that reason, and also because I can relate that very same philosophy to people and their emotions. Take a seat, maybe grab a drink and let me explain what I mean by that.

Everybody has their flaws, and depending on how aware of their self-image they are they may not see their own flaws, whereas it may be abundantly clear to others. Conversely, a person might know exactly what their flaws are and overtly acknowledge them, but others might be blinded to them for various reasons (rose tinted glasses for example). Some people choose to try and hide their flaws, they’re ashamed or embarrassed by them so they don’t want others to know this side of them. Sometimes it’s due to the feeling that letting someone else see your flaws permits them to think that you’re weak, because that’s how some people see flaws; weaknesses. They’re not weaknesses, they’re part of who you are as a person. We can’t have light without darkness, we wouldn’t experience happiness without sadness, in other words I think we need the bad to know what is good.

With that thought in mind, I tend to relate the kintsugi art to people by thinking of some of those flaws, or past experiences we’ve had as the broken cracks filled with shimmering gold. Our flaws are apart of us, sometimes they can be the most beautiful parts, they’re parts that we need to embrace rather than try to hide.

I guess what I’m trying to say is I think we should celebrate our scars and flaws, embrace them as part of the foundation to build a better you with. Try adding a little gold to your cracked pieces, and create a mosaic celebrating everything that makes you, you.


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