Mind
Kintsugi: the art of repairing wounds

Kintsugi: the art of repairing wounds

Similarly to the chisel work done by the expert craftsman of Kintsugi who reconstructs an object by assembling the broken parts, highlighting the cracks and creating a new shape even stronger than the previous one, the individual can do a job on himself by developing his ability to resilience and transforming your wounds into strengths in a path of overcoming.

 

Advertising message The Kintsugi is an ancient Japanese art of repairing objects that have suffered a break with a lacquer (urushi) to weld their fragments and the subsequent covering and highlighting of the cracks with gold dust. The terms “kin” (gold) and “tsugi” (repair) therefore indicate the technique of “repairing with gold”; a long and complex procedure that takes place in several stages and that requires extreme precision, a real chisel work. The object undergoing restoration is enhanced and takes on a uniqueness character becoming a real work of art in which the cracks, which previously were fragile points to hide, are instead enhanced with gold.

Usually when an object breaks the first impulse is to get rid of it. The art of Kintsugi instead teaches us to change the point of view, that is to accept the splits even enhancing them, following a form of creative thinking that leads us to embrace new, different solutions, outside the usual comfort area. The result is that the repair does not diminish the value of the object, but makes it even more precious.

The art of Kintsugi dates back to the fifteenth century and is associated with the historical figure of Ashigaka Yoshimasa (1435-1490), the eighth shogun of the Muromachi era. During his rule Japan saw the birth of a cultural movement inspired by Zen philosophy, the origins of which also date the tea ceremony. Legend has it that during the tea ceremony the precious cup used by Yoshimasa broke and he commissioned his craftsmen to repair it so that it kept its beauty unchanged. The craftsmen then decided to emphasize the cracks in the cup with resin and gold dust instead of hiding them and their repair intervention gave rise to the art of Kintsugi. This form of art fits into the Japanese conception of Wabi-Sabi:

Wabi = the wonder in front of nature and Sabi = the acceptance of the transience of things.

The Wabi-Sabi invites us to assume a contemplative attitude, to appreciate the beauty of simple, transitory and imperfect things, made unique by the sign left by time.

Kintsugi is not simply a restoration technique. It gives us a strong symbolic value to the extent that it represents the metaphor of the fractures and changes that the individual can face during his or her existence. Just as Kintsugi allows the recovery and enhancement of a broken object, likewise the individual can take a path of overcoming and healing his own internal wounds, becoming proud to show the scars that testify to his experience in a process of rebirth.

This metaphor is expertly described by Massimo Recalcati in relation to the experience of forgiveness in his book Keep the kiss:

Kintsugi can represent the metaphor of a psychotherapeutic path: the individual who can feel literally “in pieces” gradually acquires awareness of his own internal wounds, begins to accept them and takes care of them, developing new meanings to be attributed to events. The reworking of one’s own experience that takes place during this path can be used as a starting point for a new cycle.

Advertising message Similarly to the chisel work carried out by the expert craftsman of Kintsugi who reconstructs an object by assembling the broken parts, highlighting the cracks and creating a new shape even stronger than the previous one, the individual can do a job on himself by developing his own resilience and transforming your wounds into strengths in a path of overcoming.

Awareness of the pain is the first step to take care of your wounds because if you just mask or hide them, they could sooner or later reopen. The choice to heal takes time and effort and the result, layer by layer, gradually takes shape.

Choosing to fix a damaged object not only implies recognition of its value, but also means developing an attitude of care and attention towards oneself. Similarly, when you decide to take back your life after you feel “broken” by pain, your self-esteem is increased because you are aware that you have passed the tests, the difficulties, to have achieved a goal, to have it. made. The wounds exhibited become a sort of “gold medal” with which to celebrate one’s path also made of fractures, pains and changes that inevitably are part of everyone’s existence.

The art of Kintsugi requires great patience: repair, step by step, slowly takes shape. Even in life many steps are needed to learn the lesson, often it is necessary to start over and have the courage to change the recurring patterns. It can be a long, slow and sometimes discouraging process, but through the tests and the attempts one still continues, even when one has the impression of being stopped at the starting point.

Then one day everything takes on a connotation of greater clarity, you begin to glimpse progress, results, everything eventually becomes clearer and you begin to conceive a renewed vision of things.

In conclusion: Kintsugi is a life lesson. It teaches us to embrace our wounds rather than remove them, to transform them into strengths by “covering them with gold” because they represent a testimony of our past and of the tests passed, in a path that tells us of stories of rebirth, resilience and experiences that can fuel personal growth.