A few weeks ago, I came across an old baby photo of myself. What struck me in the image was how much space this 6-month-old baby filled up in the picture and how much intention and purpose the almond-shaped eyes held. Then I wondered what happened to the baby. Well, life happened. Heartbreaks, joy, and everything else in between. Growing up, some events and encounters brought me closer to the spirit of the baby I saw in the vintage photo, and other events drifted pieces of me far, far away. When I saw her, the baby in the picture, I couldn’t help telling her, “hey. I see you, and I am returning to you.”
When I think of one perfect piece breaking into small pieces and then coming back, I instantly connect the thoughts to Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken ceramic artifacts. The shards are glued back with Urushi, traditional plant-based lacquer. At the end of the mending process, the visible cracks bonded together by Urushi are traced by gold powder. The result is a stunning piece of art that transforms an object, once considered “broken,” into something uniquely one of a kind, with the essence of an original, complete bowl, but not quite the same. Something that is “more” than pre-broken status. These organic lines of gold powder tell so many stories.
I feel that the concept of “Kintsugi” is a powerful metaphor for a life-long mission to embrace the scars (big and small…) we acquire through simply living this life and pursuing the wholeness of oneself. The goal is not to return to the original form as we were born. Instead, we continue to piece together the fragmented elements that previously drifted away into one unifying entity while honoring all of the past imperfections.
Trina encourages us to be vulnerable about the broken pieces we all hold, the shadows within us. To embrace and acknowledge them in our writing instead of pushing them away. A. C. shares their recent vintage Polaroid adventures. These film photos with their personalities and characteristics (which one might consider “imperfect”?) reflect our real-life experiences accurately, aren’t they? Finally, Emil tells a behind-the-scenes story about his new design Blue Moon. I appreciate reading how his analogue creative process and design exploration ultimately led to the final creation. The result is an artwork that holds the essence of Ichigo Ichie.
Honestly, the month of March was challenging. Yet, I hold onto the image of the baby I saw in the photo and her eyes. I see her eyes reflecting me as I am today with the pieces glued together and maybe some gold speckles as a badge of life. I know I am coming back to her.
I hope BK and the artifacts we share continue to be a small part of your lifelong journey, whether you are seeking a safe place to park those fragile pieces that are waiting to be glued together, searching for a tool to mend the drifted pieces, or nurturing a place to simply be. Wherever you are on your path.
always a work in progress...
Topanga, California // April 1st, 2022
**This is from our BK Love Letter for April 2022. If you would like to see the entire love letter we sent to our community, you can browse it via this link.