"Artist Makoto Fujimura is a student of kintsugi--'golden repair'--the Japenese art of mending broken ceramics with laquer mixed with precious metals, restoring a bowl or cup to wholeness and function while highlighting, rather than masking, the fractures. Objects repaired by kintsugi masters are often stunningly beautiful, veined with gold, silver, or platinum that trace a history of traumatic destruction and sublime redemption."~Julie Polter (From the article God Is In The Making, Sojourners, February, 2021)
I found my way back to the page earlier than anticipated. Perhaps because my sabbatical from writing each week became more than I could bear. I ran back to the page almost like I would run toward the daylight. Writing is warmth for me, a constant and loyal companion.
When I read of Makoto Fujimura's art of "golden repair," I matched the concept with my own experience with the art of writing. When I've encountered life-fracturing events, writing has acted like the laquer mixed with gold, silver or platinum to mend the broken places. The crack has not been cosmetically removed, but rather curated into something beautiful. Something better. In a society where we often discard cracked things or attempt to cover up the fractured place, this type of restoration might even be considered too good to be true, likened to the grace of God.
Perhaps moving forward in 2021, we consider the concept of "golden repair," as we face the collective fissures not only of our culture, but also of our individual lives. Often art is the way to practice the mending. As you move through this year, consider playing your instrument, writing your songs, tending your garden, creating recipes or writing poems. Creating beauty could be likened to the precious metals added to the lacquer that holds a life together.
I am attempting to "practice what I preach." I've started writing a new novel. How many times has my "censor" come at me and said, "Why do you even bother? You have no business trying to write another book. You're tapped out. Nothing else to offer." Yes, I've my share of cracks and fractures. Yet I will pick up a brush and dip into the lacquer mixed with poetic prose and practice the art of "golden repair" to create something that might bring more wholeness, more hope, more mercy to this fractured world. If you are interested, read a scene from my novel in progress, (working title: These Dreams I Remember Well) that was featured in Free Flash Fiction: Night Maps