Thoughts on Kintsugi and healing

This will be my last post of 2017. Instead of looking back at how the year was, I would instead like to end the year with some thoughts on hope and healing, as taught to us by Kintsugi.

The Japanese art of Kintsugi offers a beautiful perspective on healing. In this very traditional practice, broken ceramic objects are pieced back together with the help of a glue. This is not some ordinary glue, but precious metal (usually liquid gold, sometimes silver or lacquer with gold dust). Once the glue sets, the object becomes whole again, and a better version of what it used to be. Beautiful flourishes of precious metal replace the fractures or scars.

Kintsugi bowl
Image courtesy Lakeside Pottery

Since objects shatter randomly, there is no single specific pattern of cracks or breaks. This makes each repaired piece different in design. Each piece becomes a unique work of art in this way, with its own history and beauty.

Kintsugi offers us a number of life-lessons. It reminds us that something broken can be put back together in such a way, that it emerges more valuable and beautiful than it used to be. By visibly incorporating the cracks into the repair instead of trying to hide them, it transforms them into a source of beauty and strength. It teaches us that we should not give up on the broken โ€“ objects, dreams, peopleโ€ฆThat healing is possibleโ€ฆAnd that we should focus on restoration rather than replacement. The process of repairing an object through the technique of Kintsugi can take weeks, even months. In other words, the healing process can take time, and we must be patient.

Drawing a parallel from the above, we can apply the same principle towards the healing of human beings who have been hurt, scarred or damaged in any way โ€“ physically or emotionally. I expect that description would cover practically everyone in this world. Instead of seeing our emotional and physical scars as reminders of past pain, let us learn to embrace these so-called imperfections as proof of our healing, and symbols of our resilience. Let us value and celebrate them, because they add character and depth to who we are, and who we will finally become.

You are better off healed than never broken.

Wish you a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year. I hope 2018 turns out to be a year full of healing, joy, peace and purpose!



3 thoughts on “Thoughts on Kintsugi and healing”

  1. Nice one. We all require healing as we go broken many times in professional and personal life. Slowly we will regain that human touch in healing each other that was missing in fast paced life in last 40-50 years. Very humanly qualities are in great demand again.. hope we all help others in healing ourselves.

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