Kintsugi method of repair & enhancement

I’ve only recently become aware of kintsugi, a Japanese method of repairing broken pottery. A special lacquer, typically mixed with a precious metal like gold, is used to mend the break while producing a piece that visibly displays the mend rather than disguising it. The result is frequently an object even more beautiful than the original.

The philosophy of the method is to illuminate the mend, giving value to the imperfection and highlighting the history of the object.

While one could reasonably argue that the nicks, breaks and scuffs that we as humans take on during our lives and careers are not cause for celebration, where would we be – what would we be — without them? We would not be as valuable as we are, we would not have the experience we have or be the embodiment of the learnings we have received. We would be a shell, a facsimile of what we currently bring to the world.

I don’t necessarily advocate wearing our (broken) hearts on our (virtual) sleeves, however I do believe it is valuable to make visible the benefits of our experience.

In our hearts, most of our mended divits don’t feel like they are laced with gold or silver; the emotion of the discontinuity may still linger. But one must believe that the self-recognition of the imperfections, once reconciled with the exquisite lessons learned therefrom, make us more valuable humans to ourselves and to others.

kintsugi bowl