“When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.” – Billie Mobayed
The scant number of craftsmen specializing in the art of Kintsugi don’t hide the damage but instead bring attention to it proclaiming, “This object has served it’s purpose well. Despite being pushed beyond it’s limits or being handled roughly, it hasn’t quit nor has it been discarded. It is still serving it’s purpose and is now even more valuable than before.”
“…the scars from mending are works of art in and of themselves.”
In a culture obsessed with newness and modernization, it’s refreshing to be reminded that not everything is disposable. Most of us who realize how flawed we are can appreciate this philosophy. Those who have reached what they feel is the peak of their sports careers can feel as though their value has wained, but instead, their experience and wisdom makes them more valuable.
Injuries, career set backs, relational trauma, and the other unavoidable tragedies of life can either leave us broken or we can heal into someone stronger and more valuable. The difference between staying broken and becoming someone better is choosing the attitude of forward progress: therapy for the injured knee, extra training for a fight come back, patience in a job search or career change, or the counsel and comfort of wise friends during times of grief and loss. Ultimately, we need to seek out the one skilled Craftsman who can make us art — and trust the painful process of being made whole once again.
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