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The TBE Blog

The timing of Kintsugi workshop was perfect as we approach the Days of Awe.  This time beckons us to reflect upon our actions over the past year…acknowledging the times we weren’t our best selves, holding those times in our hearts and then repairing as we seek forgiveness.  Life can hammer us with challenges and break us in ways we can’t anticipate.  Our work is to find ways to hold the broken parts, find healing and incorporate them into the fabric of our lives.

We are all broken AND we are all whole and beautiful with our broken parts. 

Kintsugi, the Japanese art of gluing back together broken pottery and highlighting the repairs in gold, is a tangible example of finding beauty in the broken whole.  The gold doesn’t hide the brokenness rather it illuminates the beautiful individual pieces that now make up the whole. 

Hannah led our group in study and reflection on The Wholeness of Brokenness.  The opening query was “What is something we love in our life that is broken?”

From this perspective we broke our beautiful bowls and then set about piecing and gluing them back together.  We quickly realized we needed patience and tenderness as we handled the broken pieces and shards—there was no rushing the process.  And, we needed to let go of perfection…accepting our bowls would never be the same.  They now expose the little holes and the glued golden cracks, forever reminding us there is always the option of repair as we create a new wholeness.

And, as Leonard Cohen poetically said in “Anthem”: There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.

I plan on keeping my bowl in a prominent place to serve as a physical reminder to have self compassion as I hold my broken parts and practice tikkun olam in the year ahead.

Our exploration of shleimut through art continues throughout the year, in a monthly workshop with Hannah Richman Kearney in which we’ll create art related to shleimut and its complex relationship with brokenness and imperfection. Sign up for The Art of Shleimut (Wholeness) and Brokenness here.

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