The Cup - Part 2
Maybe it’s the fact that I’m a Gemini rising (think twins), but I like nothing more than looking at both sides to every story.
I expect that last week’s post was popular due to the throwaway culture that we now live in. Whether it’s clothes, hairstyles, food, or relationships, everything seems to have an expiry date. We want novelty, to be, or get, something better, and maybe even perfection. “Old is gold” (something I heard on my recent trip to Varanasi) is not a mantra we hear anymore.
When I had previously been gluing my daughter’s cup, I would superglue it in such a way, that one wouldn’t even be able tell that it had been broken. While it didn’t leak and did its job, the fine fault-line remained - so it didn’t take much to break it again.
So, I was interested to learn about the Japanese art of Kintsugi, where broken pottery is glued it back together with a lacquer mixed with powdered gold, silver or platinum, rather than with an invisible adhesive. Their philosophy is that the breakage and repair, is a part of the object’s history, rather than something to hide.
And this the care and attention given to the repair, symbolises a reconciliation with the lumps and bumps of time. It reminded me of one of the promises of Alcoholics Anonymous: “We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.”
When I see pictures of pottery that’s been mended this way, it feels strange to me. Why would we choose to embrace something flawed or imperfect, with no attempt to disguise the damage? Suddenly I understood my struggles with self-love.
In the words of Rumi, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
It was time to make these fault-lines strong and beautiful.
I didn’t need to run and throw away, uncomfortable with vulnerability. I needed to embrace another Japanese concept, that of wabi sabi, which cherishes flaws, impermanence, simplicity, and a natural unpretentiousness.
Because this is what life really is about: messy, unpredictable, glorious, and beautiful.
And for that, we don’t need to throw anything away. We just need to accept it.