“Kintsugi.” Making something precious out of our “smashedupness.”


A Japanese word that describes the process whereby a cup, plate or a piece of ceramic if broken (or more likely, when broken) is mended by using lacquer dusted with gold. Go on, Google “Kintsugi” and you will see pictures of broken yet beautiful pieces of pottery laced with gold lacquer where the breakages have occurred. They really are works of art, whilst retaining the ability to be useful, everyday.

A dear friend of mine a number of years ago faced life threatening cancer. They have, following this life changing and on-going brokenness, established their own Life Coaching consultancy. You will not find someone more alive, empathetic and present to the struggles of others. Kintsugi.

Or, take the works of many who through the Northern Irish “Troubles” and to this present day, have journeyed with the “loss of a loved one” type of brokenness. Some, out of their brokenness have established agencies that support many individuals and families who have lost their nearest and dearest due to conflict. Others have set up projects that seek to build peace. Kintsugi.

I can think of other Kintsugi examples. They are all over the place and probably more everyday than we care imagine…

The family coping with love and care for a parent with dementia. Kintsugi.

The teacher giving their all for a class of 14 year olds, who (in the main) don’t seem to “give a stuff” for English Literature. Kintsugi.

The Nurse working extra shifts due to staff shortages, still offering care and tenderness. Kintsugi.

The neighbours pulling together with meals and emotional support after a family in their estate has their house broken into. Kintsugi.

Indeed, amidst the “smashedupness” of the global pandemic, Kintsugi somehow is keeping many of us going…

A few questions to ponder…

“In your life, when has brokenness revealed a new Kintsugi?”

“Who are the people you can trust when life’s ‘smashedupness’ occurs?”

“This week, how might you help another with their “golden repair?”

Picture courtesy of @savbrown

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