The art of Kintsugi

The Art of Kintsugi, Finding Beauty in Flaws
Tracy Bernard

So we aren’t perfect, right? We were born flawed and life added more quirks as we grew. What if these idiosyncrasies were celebrated rather than hidden? There is an art form that does just that: Kintsugi, which translates to “golden joinery.” It is the centuries-old Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with a lacquer containing gold or silver dust. Because items don’t break uniformly, the seams make glorious metallic lightning bolts along the fractures giving the piece more value by making them one-of-a-kind. This repair method celebrates the item’s history by highlighting rather than disguising its brokenness. An art form since the 15th century, Kintsugi is akin to wabi-sabi, the Japanese philosophy of seeing beauty in flaws.

What if we practiced this idea when it came to our perception of ourselves and those around us? We all suffer loss and experience pain; but as we heal and put together the pieces, we become something that is more unique and truly one-of-a-kind. For example, many comedians gain a sense of humor through overcoming tragedy. Every challenge we’ve faced has cultivated us into a work of art that cannot be replicated. Quite literally, there has never been and will never be another YOU. So the next time life deals you a blow, remember Kintsugi and that through the hardships of life, you are actually being forged into a one-of-a-kind work of art.

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