Lately I’ve been feeling a little broken. And I know that’s something the millennials have beaten to the bloody pulp. But it’s true. It’s been a year since I dropped out of school. It’s been a year since I ended things with He Who Shall Not Be Named. It’s been a year since I felt like myself at all.
And then yesterday, my professor comments on one of my Facebook posts I shared from six years ago—it said, “I believe that some things are meant to be broken. Imperfect. Chaotic. It’s the universe’s way of providing contrast. There have to be a few holes in the road. That’s just how life is.” She tells me that she hopes that I’m still writing. And that I shouldn’t be discouraged from my lack of words as of late. But it was when she told me to look up something, something that refers to broken things. It’s the Japanese practice of “kintsugi”.
Instead of tossing the things that break—plates, bowls, and other household items—the Japanese fix them with gold. It’s as if they don’t even give the items a chance to be useless, to become garbage of any form.
And I know how cliche is sounds when I say this, but reading about this, reading about the illumination of something’s flaws, flaws that become part of the thing’s history, and how those flaws create an entirely new piece of art, I couldn’t help but compare it to myself.
I remember waking up with the pieces of my once-whole-self shattered at my feet. It wasn’t like they weren’t part of me anymore, it was more like they were just uselessly functioning without a purpose. Every part of what I thought that I was when I was who I believed was a level-headed, strong, independent woman had strangely become the weakest parts of me overnight. But that’s how illnesses work; they strike when you’re down, and work day in and night out to keep you down.
So, yesterday, while I was researching kintsugi, I found myself wondering if I could apply this concept to these lost parts of me. In a purely metaphorical sense, of course—although Van Gogh’s theory of swallowing yellow paint did cross my mind—a sense that will reawaken my soul. So, instead of trying to stick to some ridiculous resolution, I’m going to work on finding gold to mend the cracks inside me. I’m going to see the world, stand on top of mountains, run into the ocean with my hands in the air, read more books, kiss more strangers. I want to fall in love with life again.
I know you don’t need gold for that, but it sure does add the perfect garnish to it.