Celebrating the brokenness of life

9 Oct

We humans revere perfection. Right from the time I can remember, the message I received from society has been, that we are valuable only if we are perfect.

At first you want to be that perfect child — being popular and having friends; then having the perfect partner, a perfect career graph that spells success, a perfect wedding only to follow it up with a perfect home and perfect children.

But life doesn’t follow our perfect plans. It springs up surprises when you least expect, leaving you shattered and fragmented. Your cherished perfect life gets tarnished with imperfections.

If we live life on the premise that things should be the way we want them to be, then all we get is disappointment and unhappiness.

Unless we learn to embrace the imperfections in our lives, we will stifle our heads with self criticism, isolate ourselves and never feel complete.

Imperfections are a part of creation and life gets so much more meaningful when we find beauty in the quirky anomalies, the flawed and the authentic.

Be it in Nature or in the people around us or even within ourselves- there is imperfection everywhere. And that’s a good thing. Once we accept this, we no longer have the need to chase perfection — harmonious relationships, fulfilling work, or an ideal family life

Instead we begin to embrace the asymmetry of life. Our flaws needn’t be hidden anymore but emblazoned with colour ; something akin to Kintsugi [Joining with gold]

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of putting together broken pieces of pottery with gold lacquer. The beauty of this technique is that no attempts are made to hide the flaws or brokenness of the object. The flaws are highlighted as part of the design with the gold lacquer which makes each piece unique and beautiful.

Kintsugi talks about healing. Whatever is the issue you are going through- loss of a loved one, breakup of a relationship or any other tragedy, Kintsugi shows us the value behind respecting what is damaged or scarred, be it an object, we ourselves or those around us.

It calls us to celebrate our scars and reconcile with the flaws and imperfections of life.

 Reframing hardships and weaving them into our lives can transform the shattered parts of our lives into something more resilient and resplendent.

The process of Kintsugi depends on certain preconditions-

· The mindset of the artist. Only if the artist believes in the possibility of creating something exquisite out of the broken pieces of ceramic, will he be able to engage in the metamorphic process of Kintsugi.

· The patience the artist exhibits. Its after the artist takes time to collect all the broken pieces,reassemble them, use the right tools, join them together with the gold inflected lacquer and patiently wait for the healing to take place that he can create something astounding

Similarly, with our lives, its only when realize that we can live with our imperfections and transform our fault lines into something that can be celebrated and displayed proudly, then our life becomes more valuable — Our life then will be a story of victory.

To quote the Persian Poet Rumi –

“I said: what about my heart

He said: Tell me what you hold inside it?

I said: Pain and Sorrow

He said: Stay with it. The wound is the place where the light enters you”


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