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The Gift of Kintsugi

Image from kintsugi.com

Dear Fellow Travelers,

As a high school teacher, I received my share of gifts from students. There were the consumable offerings of homemade candy, stationery and lotions as well as an assortment of knickknacks and things. Not all treasures, but always appreciated for the intention they brought. One gift has remained in my cabinet for over a decade – a porcelain mug that came filled with hot chocolate mix and marshmallows. The thing that’s great about this type of gift is that, naturally, its presence keeps memories of that particular student fresh in my mind. No one looking at it would deem it of great value, but I’d be crushed if it were broken. Not only is this mug the perfect size with a pleasing shape and handle that fits my hand, but it is pretty, warm and inviting, it makes me smile – much like the person from whom I received it. This season it has become even more precious to me as the gift giver will no longer be giving or receiving gifts. She died a few weeks ago from a blood clot following surgery on her ankle. She was young, healthy, and full of light, but like the lovely porcelain cup she gave me over a decade ago, she was also fragile. I am now more present than ever to how the human experience walks a fine line between strength and vulnerability. It must be valued and cared for the same way I have cared for my mug all these years.

The human body is impressively strong. Consider its ability to fight off infection, heal wounds and withstand all manner of abuse. The process of childbirth alone, is a real beating to the body. We work our muscles at the gym, tearing tissue so that it will become stronger through rebuilding itself. Athletes of all types put their bodies through the mill and the body still keeps going. Even a damaged brain will heal itself with time. In the case of my student, who was a healthy, young, vibrant woman, a tiny thing created a situation that was impassible. Like a porcelain cup falling from the cupboard in a just the right way to expose it’s weakness.

My heart aches for my former student’s loved ones; there’s an unfilled space in their circle and yet there is much life to be lived in the future. I feel certain they will knit together their individual memories to create a lasting tribute to their daughter, friend, sister, wife. Sometimes the memories will bring comfort, at other times, pain. My prayer is that they find a way to fill the missing piece with something of value that is also beautiful and brings increased strength.

The Japanese practice an art called Kintsugi based on the principle that when something is broken it need not be tossed away or discarded.  It involves repairing cracked or broken pottery with a mixture containing powdered gold. Sometimes entire missing pieces are replaced with the new material. In English, the word kintsugi means “golden joinery”, but in Japanese tradition it represents more than just a simple rejoining of something that has been broken. For the Japanese this art form provides a way to value the history of an object as it is evident in the new creation. It’s a beautiful artistic joining of what was with what is. Many have looked to this as a life philosophy seeing beauty and deeper strength in healed wounds.

When we apply this concept to the mental and emotional aspects of our lives, we may see times when we’ve wanted to toss away our past overlooking the possibly of another solution. We all have places where we are cracked, broken, where pieces have fallen away leaving empty space. If you find yourself here and are ready to transform, I’m ready to help. Through the healing modalities of Reiki and DNA ThetaHealing® together we can bring wholeness to your life again with greater strength leaving your experience more beautiful than before.
                                                                              Blessings & Light,
                                                                                 From newlotusbuddhistdoor.com

“The world breaks everyone,
then some become strong at the broken places.” 

~Ernest Hemingway

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