Kintsugi, is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.


My mindfulness allows me to reconcile the fact that I feel broken. I can sit with this feeling and understand as much as possible about it. I don’t know what happened; the incident has been lost to time, but I consistently feel like I was whole and now am not. What’s more. I don’t know what I was. I don’t even know if I have all of the pieces- I suspect I don’t.

Not knowing what I am supposed to be has made it increasingly difficult to exist as a pile of small pieces. Some are sharp. Some are beautifully curved, smooth, and lovely. Some just are; utilitarian in some way, I’m just not sure how.

As I move through life, I am able to make these various pieces of me useful- the flat, utilitarian pieces can be used like a plate for small amounts of nurturing. The curved pieces can be used like tiny, thimble sized bowls to hold small amounts of emotion. The beautiful pieces can be used as curios or good luck charms- a piece to show off and carry around until it’s no longer interesting or meaningful.

This doesn’t do a lot to solve the mystery of what I am supposed to be, but at least I have been able to make the best of what I have.

Kintsugi, like healing, is a process of repair; of reassembly and reinforcement. With my mindfulness practice supporting me, I am able to honestly inventory and catalogue every single piece of me. The pieces that make some sense, and the pieces that don’t. I love puzzles. Right now the energy of life flows over and past my pieces like a brook over stones, but as I slowly start to find the parts that merge together, the flow slows and I am able to hold some vitality for myself in increasing amounts.

Am I a plate meant to hold even larger amounts of nurturing? Am I a bowl meant to contain and protect more emotion? Am I a vase meant to highlight and create more beauty in this world? Or maybe I’m meant for something else? Perhaps I was meant to be an urn, carrying the vestiges of my lineage forward. Or perhaps a cistern, gathering, concentrating, and directing energy to flow steadily through me towards a parched place. Maybe an amphora, something meant to carry, hold, and mete energy when time and space allows.

Any way I look at this, I am being called to piece myself together. I am meant to find and recall as many parts as possible, assemble them as I can, and fill in the lost or incomplete gaps with the most beautiful repair material I can find.

Nobody moves through this life without history. Every break and every crack represents an event through our lives that allows us to mend and strengthen ourselves. The key is to stay true to what our intended purpose is and repair ourselves with the very best material we have at our disposal. To make our breaks meaningful and beautiful. To keep ourselves whole. Pieces are taken, lost, and damaged beyond repair but that doesn’t mean we need to be a sieve for life to pass through and by. We can repair even those parts with a bit of effort.

Nothing is damaged beyond repair. Nothing can be irreparably broken.

The key for me is to mindfully put the pieces back together and to repair with the very best and beautiful wisdom and energy that I can.

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