What you need to learn from the Japanese art of Kintsugi – News


Dubai – Finding Beauty in the Broken

By Delna Mistry Anand

Posted: Thu 2 Dec 2021, 15:15

“The world breaks everyone and after that many are strong in the broken places,” Ernest Hemingway wrote in his poignant book A Farewell to Arms. Those who have seen grief up close know what it feels like to be “broken”. I was quite young when life ripped the rug out from under me and turned my world upside down. Growing up in India in the 90s, getting help dealing with grief was rare, so the journey out of the dark, deep rabbit hole had to be mine alone. Having loving family and friends helps, but the road to recovery is often lonely, chaotic, and excruciatingly painful. Time does not heal; but what it does is soothe the jagged edges of pain. The real work only begins when you allow yourself to see and feel the broken pieces, accept them, embrace them, and move on.

Decades later, I have found the most beautiful metaphor to understand (and explain) this trip. The Japanese art of repair called Kintsugi (kin = gold; tsugi = join), is a 400 year old technique of repairing cracks with gold. It is believed that the practice of mending ceramics with lacquer sprinkled with gold began in the kingdom of Ashigaka Yoshimasa. When his craftsmen failed to aesthetically repair a precious ceramic vase, one craftsman decided to “accentuate” the crack instead of hiding it. Covering the cracks with gold, he honored the break and breathed new life into the vase. Japanese culture believes in honoring the beauty of broken things; that the golden cracks make the piece unique, precious and extremely valuable.

For me, Kintsugi has become a way to understand life and loss. We all have cracks within us; In the form of a troubled childhood, bad academics, emotionally unavailable parents, an abusive marriage, the death of a loved one, illness. We carry these emotional wounds like a dark shadow, unwilling to reveal them, see them, feel them – let alone heal them, thinking “how can we be complete with these shattered pieces of our past? “

Kinstugi teaches us:

Accept what is broken:

For anything to heal, you first have to feel. It is important to recognize that it hurts you. Broken doesn’t mean less valuable, redundant, or unnecessary. Refrain from adding your own meaning to what “broken” means.

Love is the golden glue:

Kintsugi teaches us that with love and kindness to ourselves, we can fill these gaps. Self-esteem is the golden glue that will help us recognize and embrace the cracks. Let the golden glue transform you into your own new identity.

Everything can be fixed:

Struggle, trials and tribulations are not a death sentence. All of life’s wounds can be mended with Gold Repair Jobs. When we change our mindset about our past, when we change the stories we tell ourselves, we break free from our struggles; free to imagine a different future; a new beautiful and unique vase.

The imperfections are unique and sparkling with gold:

Yes, pain can change our life. Some find it difficult to let go, so many emotions are enveloped in it. Keep the emotions of love and hope, release the rest. Let your pain propel you to live a meaningful life. Your greatest pain can become the most beautiful, admirable part of you. This awareness has helped me use my grieving journey to help myself and help others. Once I got that right, I could see that my trial by fire helped me become who I am today.

Wherever you are right now, I invite you to look back over everything you’ve been through, all the cracks that haven’t been glued back together. Think about all the times we chose perfection and rejected anything less than. Examine each crack carefully. And take your time to fill them with sparkling golden lacquer. Create your own unique design, create the best art you have ever seen, and then you will realize that all is well and life is exactly as it is supposed to be.

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Connect with Delna Mistry Anand on social media @DelnaAnand

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