Kintsugi, also known as Kintsukuroi, is the traditional Japanese art form of repairing broken ceramics with a lacquer dusted or powdered with gold, platinum or silver. Kintsukuroi is about recognizing beauty in broken things.
There can be many broken things that exist externally but the broken things within ourselves can be the most harmful. Internally broken things can be; a low self-esteem, a feeling of being unloved or doubtful about your place in the world, mirroring pain you experienced from a friend or family member. Broken things are the feelings we have of ourselves that we suppress and fester without confronting them in the moment.
South African jewellery designer Jenna Clifford said, “Read the being. Read the energy”, which simply means be aware of another person’s energy then you’ll be able to see the being. I recently saw things in my girlfriends that made me question where we stood with one another and whether we were still friends. A hard question to be asking oneself when you believe these are your friends for life.
It was only when I spoke of my pain to them that I learnt that we had all been suppressing a feeling of disappointment. We had allowed past exchanges to linger within ourselves and that festered into us becoming dismissive to one another. We forgot how to be honest with one another about it in the moment, instead we chose the shortcut of saying to ourselves, “It’s fine”. Yet, our actions still mirrored our pain when we were together.
Throughout my pain and confusion, a part of me shattered and it was my broken thing. I fed my broken thing with many feelings but the dominant feelings were of disappointment and distrust. However, after speaking to them I learnt a thing can only remain broken by the action you take or lack thereof. I took little to no action because I had told myself that I’m always first to reach out to fix things and it was their turn for a change. I used every whack excuse for my actions only to confirm my selfishness. Although I was blind to it in the moment because all I could see to be true was my pain.
The Golden Mend
Someone once said, “Every next level requires a new you” and that’s what my broken thing taught me. I had forgotten my responsibility in my friendships; I had allowed myself to act out of pride instead of love; I had chosen to only see the ugly and not the beauty of my blessing. It’s never easy picking up the pieces of something you treasure and simply throwing them in the trash. The thought becomes too painful and instead you hold on without seeing the potential of the new it can bring into your life once fixed. Please note I am not saying that every friendship can be worked on. Some friendships the person shows you enough of themselves for you to say, “fuck that”, and move on. But there are the treasured few who give you reason to fight for them another day.
I fight for my girlfriends because our once broken thing is now dressed in a golden mend that is giving rise to something more beautiful than what was. It now is our kintsugi.
Love and Happiness,