Kintsugi (“golden joinery”) or kinsukuroi (“golden repair”) is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with a lacquer mixed with powdered gold.
In a metaphorical sense, it signifies embracing imperfections, mistakes and tough times, and accepting these as part of life, in order to create something that is more beautiful, and stronger than it was before.
We all have scars. Kintsugi philosophy tells us we don’t need to hide them. In fact, flaws are highlighted, and become a feature of the design. There is art and beauty in the broken, if we take the time to consider it, rather than discarding something for being imperfect.
And because I’ve been thinking about Kintsugi a lot lately, I’ve started noticing connections with the concept everywhere. Here are some of them:
“The wound is the place where the light enters you.” – Rumi
“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.” – Khalil Gibran
“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” – Leonard Cohen
“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.” – Ernest Hemingway
Perhaps, like the Coldplay song, when we are not afraid to learn from our mistakes, our troubles and our flaws, lights will guide us home and ignite our bones. And then we can give ourselves permission to celebrate our scars and make ourselves complete again.
©2020 Seetha Nambiar Dodd