The Japanese art of filling cracks in porcelain with liquid gold resin is a reminder to us all that flaws can be the key attributes.
“The world breaks everyone, then some become strong at the broken places.”
The scar is one symbol that we all worry about in the swollen crowd of metaphors we use to refer to life. The universe tears us open, fills us with fissures, and that is where there is a whole continuum of possibilities; the scar becomes a justification to face the world, as Hemingway said in the above-mentioned quote.
Nobody has used this metaphor in kintsugi (or kintsukuroi) art of greater elegance and transparency than the Japanese.
Kintsugi (Kintsugi Methods) is a Japanese technique for healing porcelain cracks with gold-powdered varnish or resin. As a result, breakages and replacements are a part of an object's past and can be shown rather than covered. Scars enhance the object's beauty by manifesting its transformation. There objects are often called kintsugi pottery, kintsugi bowl, kintsugi artwork or kintsugi kit.
“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” the poet Rumi once wrote.
There is something almost diametrically similar to the Western way of viewing a fracture, both psychologically and physically, about this philosophy.
Instead of tossing away a damaged entity that no longer serves its function, it takes on a new one: that of an active tweet.
A shattered object transforms from one thing to a visual gesture that inspires us to replicate its strong transformation, and a wound transforms from a dark stroke to a window of light, metaphorically speaking.
Kintsugi is a Japanese art form that is both quiet and visible. Accepting a traumatic occurrence as a diamond, like a luminous line on a tiger's skin, requires labeling it with gold dust.
― Leah Raeder, Cam Girl Source
2) “the point of kintsugi is to treat broken pieces and their repair as part of the history of an object. A break is something to remember, something of value, a way to make the piece more beautiful, rather than something to disguise. They use gold, not invisible superglue, because mistakes shouldn’t be considered ugly. Broken pieces and their repair merely contribute to the story of an object, they don’t ruin it.”
― Penny Reid Source
3) “Kintsugi is based on the belief that something broken is stronger and more beautiful because of its imperfections, the history attached to it, and its altered state. Instead of hiding what’s been damaged, the shards are mended with a special resin mixed with gold dust. The bonded seams become an intrinsic part of the ceramic and add a personalized, one-of-a-kind beauty through its imperfections.”
― Jo Ann V. Glim, Begotten With Love: Every Family Has Its Story Source
4) “the Japanese art of kintsugi, or “golden joinery,” a method of repairing cracked pottery with a vein of lacquer mixed with gold or silver. A plausible origin story dates this art to the fifteenth century, when Japanese shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa broke his favorite tea bowl and sent it back to China to be repaired. It was returned with ugly metal staples, prompting the shogun to order his craftsmen to find a more aesthetic means of repair. I love the idea that an accident can be an occasion to make something more delightful, not less so.”
― Ingrid Fetell Lee, Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness Source
5) “...in repairing the object you really ended up loving it more, because you now knew its eagerness to be reassembled, and in running a fingertip over its surface you alone could feel its many cracks - a bond stronger than mere possession.”
― Nicholson Baker, Room Temperature Source
6) “They call it kintsugi. The pot is shattered, then carefully reassembled with a resin mixed with gold. It symbolizes how we must incorporate our wounds into who we are, rather than try to merely repair and forget them.”
― David Wong, Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits Source
7) “Did you know that pottery can be repaired with gold?" Kami asked. "Then it's meant to be stronger than before, and more beautiful. Which is awesome, though it seems expensive."
Her grandmother had nodded. "Makes sense to me," she said. "Why be broken when you can be gold?”
― Sarah Rees Brennan, Unmade Source
8) “Now, almost every week, we talk about kintsugi pottery. Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing a broken bowl by inlaying gold or other precious metals. The new bowl is stronger than the old one. The scars are the design. Your attention is drawn to the cracks and how they are mended. That is what you’re supposed to see. The beauty is in the brokenness.”
― Justin Whitmel Earley, The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction Source
9) “Kintsugi [is] not just a method of repair but also a philosophy. It’s the belief that the breaks, cracks, and repairs become a valuable and esteemed part of the history of an object, rather than something to be hidden. That, in fact, the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.”
― Kathleen Tessaro, Rare Objects Source
10) “Over the years, my family and I have communicated and miscommunicated. But sometimes we found the best answer was simple sho ga nai, just letting something go. Ultimately, I'm grateful to for the struggles and the setbacks we shared together, as they have made us into who we are today. Without those times of turmoil and change, the ups and downs, we would not be able to learn and grow or enrich our lives. The struggles will become your story, And that's the beauty of kintsugi. Your cracks can become the most beautiful part of you.”
― Candice Kumai, Kintsugi Wellness: The Japanese Art of Nourishing Mind, Body, and Spirit Source
Kintsugi is my life's anthem; it has shaped me into the person I am today. On the surface, it will seem that I am self-assured and even strong.
But the fact is that I'm really trying to fill up the gaps in my life. Heartbreak, not feeling welcomed by family, feeling "alien," and childhood experiences of never feeling good enough have all created holes in my heart.
Living with these holes made me feel incomplete for a long time. I never took a rest during the first twelve years of my career. I worked hard and gave just my best, as is customary in Japan.
Yet I wasn't taking care of myself properly. I was scared that if I came to a halt, someone would catch up with me. I had the constant feeling that I wanted to keep driving. I was very critical of myself.
I held a lot of residual resentment, sorrow, and, almost always, a sense of wanting to belong on the inside. I was never quite "healthy enough," and I was always looking for external affirmation.
I discovered that it's okay to be hurt and grieve through kintsugi. It's fine to be open about your feelings. Accepting and allowing yourself the time to express, open up, and practice kindness is perfectly acceptable.
Here are four examples of why kintsugi is worth learning, as well as how it changed my life:
Kintsugi's spirit is all about forgiveness. It is a self-love ritual. Accepting and enjoying yourself entails accepting and embracing your flaws. Before you may forgive another person, you must first forgive yourself.
You'll notice that the most precious, significant pieces of yourself are the ones that have been shattered, mended, and healed as you move toward this goal.
Kintsugi, like a map of the heart, exposes the truth and teaches us valuable lessons. And though circumstances were not your fault, all of life's hurt can be repaired by golden restoration, as much as the suffering, the agony, the trials and tribulations sucked.
We emerge from our challenges as a much more glamorous and polished version of ourselves when we change our perspective about our history. By putting in the effort, you will transform your kintsugi cracks into gold.
Kintsugi is all about learning, and we never stop learning. “Candice, you have a lot to learn,” I've told my rough heart on several occasions. You must treat Japanese wellness with an open and truthful heart if you want to reap the benefits.
I'm committed to these habits, and I'm committed to doing better every day. But believe me when I say that what you need is an open mind to think.
Your darkest sorrows, your worst fears, and all of your tribulations have permanently altered you. If you could see my side, you'd notice that it's covered with golden cracks. Some go deep, others are still being sealed, and there are plenty more to come.
Your heart bears a striking resemblance to mine. Kintsugi is a Japanese expression that means "no one is flawless." There isn't a clear way ahead of you. In reality, your most difficult struggles, darkest wounds, and most terrifying nightmares are among the most stunning, valuable, and admirable aspects of yourself.
Essentially, the first step of learning kintsugi is to take chances – you can't be afraid of being hurt when it's unavoidable.
And if you handle anything with caution, it is likely that it may crack, and this could be beyond your power. We all lose loved ones in life, or become sick, or experience some other loss that we cannot alter. Rather than stopping life, we should learn to rebuild ourselves after a difficult period.
“Do not try to live a pleasant life without suffering,” Navarro says.
“Because if you do you will be resigning yourself to surviving instead of living intensely.”
Take On Difficult Situations Head-On
Rather than avoiding challenges and burying our heads in the sand, Navarro advises us to be pragmatic and use kintsugi tactics to prepare for life's more difficult times. Don't believe you haven't been broken; reflect on difficult moments and life experiences to help you bring the pieces back together.
After that, embrace the wounds, whether physical or mental, as a perfect part of who you are. They are, after all, the elements that make up our personal narrative.
“Change is the only constant in life.” – Heraclitus
For certain people, the prospect of continuous and never-ending change is daunting, because change always entails danger and loss – potentially of something significant, such as a home, a career, income, friends, or relatives, or simply the loss of everything is secure and familiar.
Change is something that certain people fear or dread, rather than seeing it as a modern experience that has the potential to better themselves or their lives.
That is exactly what change is: it is a chance for you to learn something different and develop as an individual.
Change is an inevitable part of life and development. It will be up to us and our experience to decide how we will handle it and how it will affect us.
It all boils down to emotional fortitude.
“The difference between a person who is confident and happy, and someone who is not, resides in their emotional strength,” Navarro reveals.
“Emotional strength is the set of resources available to us when tackling challenges and problems. Most people suffer due to the accumulation of minor problems rather than just one single adversity.”
Navarro proffers that “emotional strength can be learned”.
Emotional power, according to Kintsugi, is a combination of skills and strategies that, when learned and perfected, will teach us how to be comfortable and deal with adversity in our lives.
As a result, Navarro emphasizes the importance of continually strengthening our emotional resilience and expanding our arsenal of coping strategies in order to feel better and more secure when confronted with daily challenges.
Consider the dilemma as an obstacle.
That is how you can tap into your emotional strength?
There are just circumstances, not issues.
If you consider challenges to be complex and much larger than yourself, you are still limiting your ability to cope with them. All improve, though, as you see challenges as issues and yourself as someone who has the resources to deal with them.
“Maturity is achieved when a person postpones immediate pleasures for long-term values.” ~ Joshua L. Liebman
Unpleasant behaviors can lead to good improvements and outcomes that continue for a long time. Examine and investigate your internal monologue.
What are the things you say to yourself over and over? Is it uplifting or depressing to you?
Recognize yourself, rebuild yourself, and give yourself the chance to succeed.
“The past is gone. It explains a few things about your life, but it is nothing more than an influence – don’t forget that. There is no reason why your past should condition your whole life,” Navarro says.
While he feels it is important to confront difficult situations, he also believes that it is better to move on rather than focus on them after they have passed. Take notes on what happened, but then move on to the next step – it's time to concentrate on what lies ahead.
“Your hardest challenges, deepest wounds, and greatest fears are actually among the most beautiful, precious, and admirable parts of you.”
Wherever you are right now, I implore you to reflect on what you've been through, as well as everything you've healed and protected yourself from. We live in a society that expects perfection from us and punishes us when we fall short or when things don't go our way.
But, in some cases, years of perseverance, hard work, and commitment are needed before you can see the big picture.
Many holes have already been acknowledged and repaired in your home. Consider this and give yourself credit for completing this life's journey. When you actually remember you're just where you're supposed to be, it's an incredible experience.
Allowing someone to make decisions for your life is not a good idea.
Keep in mind that the ability to control your life is yours. You can broaden your horizons by consulting experts for more information, motivation, and awareness, but at the end of the day, it is your life and you will be the one to live with the repercussions of your decisions
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