Kintsugi

17 years ago halfway across the globe from where I live the event the event that would change the world happened.

We all know where we were when it happened.

We can all recall exactly what happened.

17 years ago the twisted metal, smoke and shock was seen and felt around the world.

17 years ago my mum was scared to send us to school.

17 years ago set into motion my dad’s deployment to Afghanistan.

The aftershocks of this event are still being felt – the tighter security, the unconscious tension in everyone old enough to remember it.

In the unity we found in each other, from all around the world.

For my dad, his deployment changed him.

It changed our family.

It changed us again several years after his return when he attempted to take his own life.

It broke us.

But in the aftermath, the fissure it left within us is being filled.

I’ve been trying to hide the damage it dealt me.

But today I started thinking about the Japanese art of Kintsugi – the art of repairing a broken pot or vase with gold, and treating the break (and repair) as part of what that object is, rather than trying to hide the damage.

The same damage that led us to be right here today – reading these very words.

The scars have become a defining trait, and to cover them up would be to deny they ever existed.

In Kintsugi, the gold used to fill the cracks makes the original piece beautiful.

Whether you are remembering the loss of loved ones on this solemn day, or struggling with something else – don’t try to hide who it is shaping you into.

To do so is to deny the power of the event – the power of the heroism and bravery of the rescuers, the tears and loss of those effected.

To do so is to forget what we fought so hard against in the aftermath.

To pretend the break never happened is to lose the value of history.

No lesson is learned if we hide.

Kintsugi aims to make the original better through its reverent restoration.

The love and unity we’ve discovered in the world is our Kintsugi – why hide it?

 

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