This morning I listened to a wonderful guided meditation on my Calm app about the chips and cracks of our experience. Tamara Levitt ended the meditation with the words I've transcribed below. I couldn't help thinking about how this applies to supposedly "broken people" like the homeless in Salem.
Actually, as Levitt says, the Japanese art of Kintsugi shows that healing brokenness results in more beauty, not less. Human flaws produce a tapestry that can't be reproduced, being the product of our unique experience.
So rather than extolling those who seem to "have their act together," perhaps we should revere the broken, the cracked, the fallen, the bruised. And when we can, do our best to mend both ourselves and others without worrying if the repair job isn't perfect.
For beauty, in Kintsugi, lies in flaws, not perfection. Here's my transcript -- perhaps imperfect -- of what Tamara Levitt said today.
Today, I’d like to talk about the beauty in our flaws. When we experience something difficult, like heartbreak or a failed business endeavor, our reaction is often to see ourselves as cracked or flawed.
And we’re conditioned to think that when something is broken, it has less value. So our instinct is to ignore or cover up our hurt.
But what if we shifted our perception? What if we viewed our flaws with appreciation, even seeing them as beautiful?
There’s a wonderful Japanese art form where artists mend broken pottery with gold or silver lacquer. It’s called Kintsugi, which translates of golden joinery.
When a teacup breaks, or a vase cracks, Kintsugi embraces the brokenness. The pieces are meticulously mended back together, highlighting the cracks instead of hiding them.
Brilliant golden tendrils now hold the pottery together, resulting in a beautiful unique piece that can never be reproduced.
So rather than trying to erase the hurts of past relationships, or cover up mistakes in a past venture, why not approach our brokenness with a sense of reverence.
Mending pieces of ourselves with delicate filaments of gold. The next time you feel broken, remember the art of Kintsugi.
Hold your grief with tenderness, your mistakes with forgiveness, and your frustrations with patience,
Honor the scrapes and scruffs, the chips and cracks of your experience. As Leonard Cohen said, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”