“ Kintsugi & Mushin – Broken & Repaired Japanese Pottery ”

“We are all broken, that’s how the light gets in…”

Call me strange but I quite like the broken pieces of me that helped in moulding me the very person that I am… the struggles that I have endured in the years of my life haven’t kintsugi-statueA funny and slightly rude saying has been playing over and over in my head for the past few days “ I Am Completely Fucking Broken Inside ”

(I know  you hate the word broken Ms. Maggie… But being broken has taught me many things and those things have given the person that I am in my here and now a many gifts).

What a funny little saying it is if you don’t mind me saying… I bet that you have heard the famous quote thought up and written down by Ernest Hemingway about broken people and or about the broken parts that make broken people them….!! always been a walk in the park & they most certainly haven’t been days, months & years that haven’t brought on moments of questioning, double takes and tearing moments of fear… but what my broken pieces have given me is a strength unmeasurable by any measurement known to man… the very fact that I am here writing down my many chronicled stories of my life this far gives me and my many thousands of pieces a place to call home.

I have never felt the burden of the imperfections of my broken self… I love that life hasn’t had me living in a bubble protected from the reality of the real world…

I see my self as a nurturer of the many parts of me that are quite capable functioning just as well as a normal person does and would. What the hell is normal besides the setting on the dryer? There is no such thing as normal… not one living and breathing person is extinguished from feeling the wrath of life and its many hiccups and speed humps that we come across in our day to day lives.

I like to tell people that my broken pieces resonate well with the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery; an art called Kintsugi 金継ぎ – meaning golden repair… Kintsugi is where broken pottery is repaired by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, a method similar to the make-e technique. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. So I see myself at a piece of art with a titled name of Kintsugi 金継ぎ…. the genuine, tender and morally driven parts of my heart, mind and soul are the golden lacquered joinery’s that are very much a part of my life’s history.. the historic parts of me that hold me in an upright stance; taking life head-on without flinching or diversion. I am through the many lessons that life has thrown at me become a broken piece of pottery named Kintsugi 金継ぎ who embraces all her broken pieces and belies that my broken pieces make my heart, mind, soul and the vessel (my body) a person that has far more beautiful qualities within the aura of my broken pieces.

I see myself as a whole and a working wonder of much good that I do to and for others in my life… I love my life and all that I stand for; happily, I stand firm in my well-built footings, standing strong in the winds of life that swirl in and out of my life… I am living my life embracing all parts of me… broken, flawed, imperfect or otherwise.

In some roundabout kind of way, I am working toward living my life in a some sort of mixed matched Japanese Philosophy called “Mushin.”

When I say that I want to live my life eventually in some sort of mixed matched version of a person who wants to encompass a certain lifestyle of the Japanese philosophy of Mushin in her life I mean that I want to build a personal aura of which I am built on having a free mind … one free from thoughts of anger, fear, or ego during combat or everyday life. There is an absence of discursive thought and judgment, so the person is totally free to act and react towards an opponent without hesitation and without disturbance from such thoughts. At this point, a person relies not on what they think should be the next move, but what is their trained natural reaction (or instinct) or what is felt intuitively.(Discursive – a life that is built on and includes lots of facts or opinions that are not necessarily relevant to the life that I am wanting to live… not forgetting them as being part of my past, but not allowing them to rule my future self or my future life’s journey).

As much as I love the definition and meanings and symbolism of both Kintsugi and Mushin I don’t want to become of a version of myself that has “no mind” and I certainly do not wish to wish to live my life where I no longer consider myself as a “fighter”… I’m happy to adopt the part of the Japanese philosophy where I see myself as living being that is living and brokenmeisokbreathing as well as moving through space…. & I also have no interest in living a life with no attachment…this is what I mean by a mixed matched version of a person living her life in line with the Japanese philosophy of Mushin…. for me it is very important that at all time not only remain true to myself but that I must also remain morally in touch with who it is that I am… I didn’t work to be who it is that I have become just to throw it to the winds of a Japanese philosophy that I only partially embrace my heart and arms around… I am for self-acceptance of change… I won’t embrace my new lease on life… I want to embrace the new beginnings of new and reinvented self… living my life where I am not afraid to show the roads of my life that have given me my scars… I don’t want to disguise the history of my yesterday’s… I want to embrace them and build my life around the branches that they have been grafted to.

I found a beautiful essay that went on to say though it’s message of the Japanese art of repairing a piece of pottery the following:-

instead of the break “…diminishing [the bowl’s] appeal, a new sense of its vitality and resilience raised appreciation to even greater heights.” The bowl has become more beautiful for having been broken. The true life of the bowl “…began the moment it was dropped…”

“So it is not simply any mended object that increases in its appreciation but…the gap between the vanity of pristine appearance and the fractured manifestation of mortal fate which deepens its appeal.”

Reference – http://www.camiimac.com/good-juju-today-blog/kintsukuroi-more-beautiful-for-having-been-broken

How beautiful is the written line The bowl has become more beautiful for having been broken. The true life of the bowl “…began the moment it was dropped…” this line of writing depicts me in my story of self-awareness, self-growth and the inner reinvention if the mooded me growing into the me that I was truly intended to be… with my scars uncovered & my journey’s off-road path well marked throughout the stories of my written words.

A Poem Comparing A Bowl With Repairs & A Life That Has Some Cracks & Scars

By Author. Peter Mayer

I’m like one of those Japanese bowls That were made long ago I have some cracks in me They have been filled with gold
That’s what they used back then When they had a bowl to mend It did not hide the cracks It made them shine instead
So now every old scar shows from every time I broke And anyone’s eyes can see I’m not what I used to be
But in a collector’s mind All of these jagged lines Make me more beautiful And worth a higher price
I’m like one of those Japanese bowls I was made long ago I have some cracks you can see See how they shine of gold.

In closing of today’s daily writing titled “ Kintsugi & Mushin – Broken & Repaired Japanese Pottery ” I share a poem written by a favourite author of mine –
Nikita Gill titled “ Kintsugi ”


On the days when you feel ashamed of your scars, Your mind only registering how ugly they are Rather than beauty, they prove that you have survived, Remember that there is an entire art form dedicated to filling the cracks of broken things with lacquered gold.

An entire art from the proves that Even the broken and damaged history of an object Is beautiful and should be treasured.

Remember how much more you are Then an object. Remember your survival, your journey, Your scars deserve to be treasured to.

There it is… my daily writing that offers up how I relate myself to a piece of broken & repaired piece of Japanese pottery and how “ I Am Completely Fucking Broken Inside ” and embracing my life for all it’s faults, fractures & broken pieces.

So Mr Hemingway a dedication to you… Your written quote goes like this – “ We are all broken, that’s how the light gets in…” I embrace my broken pieces and I am most certainly absorbing line light that is helping me to grow into the person that my life has me wanting to be… My broken surely is shedding its light on me… And I am embracing it… repairing me but keeping perfectly fixed with flaws and all the work to shine the light on me from the outside in.

Author. Tanya Kelly


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