Lately, I have been very interested in Japanese culture. For about a year, I’ve been flying through Haruki Murakami novels, devouring Japanese films, eating more sushi, and soaking up Japanese philosophies through books and websites. The Japanese values of simplicity, impermanence, and authenticity are ones I find intriguing. One Japanese philosophy of particular interest to me is that of wabi-sabi. Incomplete or imperfect beauty is the key to wabi-sabi. Evidence of this worldview are often seen in pottery, flower arrangements, and gardens, which are appreciated for their roughness or asymmetry.
A Japanese practice that relates to wabi-sabi is the mending method called kintsugi. Kintsugi involves repairing damaged pottery by reattaching broken pieces with gold seams. Instead of trying to hide the repair and deny the fact that the piece had been broken, the cracks are literally highlighted. Attention is drawn to them.
The idea is that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.
Wabi sabi and kintsugi both apply to objects in the physical world, but they can also be used as concepts to guide our internal lives. We all have imperfections. Both physical and emotional. They make us interesting. We have all been broken, but the way we piece ourselves back together again afterward is what makes us beautiful. For this month's self care theme, I hope to explore the ways in which we can honor our brokenness, celebrate our repairs, and embrace ourselves as the perfectly imperfect beings we are.
View these images of kintsugi for inspiration as we move forward and begin to highlight our own brokenness with gold:
How do you see wabi sabi and kintsugi existing in your life? Have you found ways to celebrate your imperfections? Please share!
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