Dr. Debi Gilmore, LMFT CEFT, Co-Founder of Building A Lasting Connection®
Recently, my husband and I visited a local shop we love because of their unique inventory. The storefront features many kinds of items, crafted by artists, sculptors, weavers, and many other media. They have hundreds of pots of all shapes and sizes which are not only unique in shape, but unique in their composition of clay and paint used to bring the piece to its final state. The store also features woolen rugs, hand tied by families from villages throughout Latin America. This art of weaving is passed down from generation to generation, and the works are exquisite.
While browsing, my husband pointed out a beautiful wooden tray, which had distinct wood grains alternating with spots that were cracked and exposed. Some of these cracks were filled with turquoise; the combination of wood and stone was just incredible. The wooden tray was polished and covered with a satiny glaze, and as I ran my fingers across its surface, it felt like glass. I was in awe of this creation, and it reminded me of the Japanese art of kintsugi. In Japanese, kin means ‘gold,’ and tsugi means ‘repair.’
This unique art takes a broken clay pot or vase and glues or bonds its pieces back into place with golden dust. The result is a creation that not only returns to its previous shape, but is even more beautiful than before. The streaks of gold framing the broken pieces elevates the bowl to a new level of value and worth.
I can’t help but see symbolism in the art of kintsugi, or the amazing wooden tray filled with streaks of turquoise. I like to compare this art form with distressed relationships, and what can happen when two broken hearts are willing to take steps required to heal. The result can be a remarkable oneness that strengthens and empowers the connection. The new bond is stronger because of what the relationship has gone through. Just as the gold dust bonds the shards of the clay pot, the reforged bond that the renewed relationship experiences is a priceless treasure.