Broken pots. Cracks. Gold. Repair. Beauty.
In ancient Japan around the 15th cenury, an emperor once realized that he had a lot of beautiful pots lying around that had suffered through some or the other damage, with visible cracks. Like any of us who find things that we can salvage, he sent it for repair. However, unlike most of us, he was smart. So when he ordered the repairs, he asked them to use gold lacquer to fill in the cracks in stead of the standard procedure, which was to use metal staples. Why, you ask? Because he acknowledged the beauty of the broken, and believed that repair could be used to make something more beautiful than the original object, without ignoring the fault. Told you, he was smart.
The idea behind his practice (called Kintsugi- look it up) and behind my using the illustration, is to demonstrate the beauty of the broken. I mean just look at this picture! Isn't it so much more gorgeous than what the original pot must have looked like?
So after not having posted here for a long time, you might have assumed that old age is getting to me, and that this blog is about pottery now. It does have Jar in it's title. NO.
Take a step further. Think of us, all of us, as jars or pots or bowls. Whatever floats your boat. And think of how all of us are somewhat broken, to a lesser or more degree.
I haven't met anyone perfect as yet. If you have, feel free to pass on my number to them. However, just like the pots, to me, beauty lies in those cracks in the surface. I don't think humans were made to be perfect. Our social context, our ideas and opinions, our experiences- they change us, constantly. A professor of mine says, "We aren't today what we were yesterday, and we won't be tomorrow what we are today." Truer words haven't been said. No one has an absolutely smooth sailing life. We've all been tested in matters small and large- some of us excel, some don't.
We hurt, and we get hurt. We can be brutal, we can be honest; or we are brutally honest. Sometimes we put on a mask, sometimes we take a lot of delight in unmasking someone else. Jealousy makes us act rather strangely, and we tend to feel a pinch of pride when someone else is jealous of us. We push away people when they are in our lives, we crave for them after. We act fake around people in order to get their approval. We do desperate things in situations that aren't in our favour. We take joy in the companionship that comes out of belittling someone else. We hide what we perceive to be our flaws, most of the time. The thing however is, these flaws, they are beautiful. They make us who we are as individuals, like a fingerprint. And that isn't always a bad thing.
Flaws and scars, they tell us where we've been, not where we have to go. They make us human, nothing more and nothing less. Someone who's been shaped a certain way thanks to their experiences, even a little broken, is to me far more striking than the glossy, made-up plastic figure. Honest. I'm not perfect, why would I want that out of those in my life? Besides, imperfections make us so much more interesting.
So, cherish the cracks. Try to repair them if you can, that can only make it more pretty. However, don't ever crave for the smooth surface, it is not worth the effort.