I’ve written before about the Japanese art of kintsugi, where broken pottery is put back together using gold lacquer. The point is to show the cracks, not hide them, because the piece is actually stronger than it was before. A comment made by my boyfriend last week had me thinking about how it would work if you combined two separate pieces of broken pottery using this technique. When I say broken, I mean to the point where some of the jagged pieces were unsalvagable. Like, what if by combining them, you’re giving each piece back exactly what it was missing? You could have put each pottery piece back together and had a few gaps here and there, but it would still be broken. But when you combine the two, it is perfect in an imperfect way. You will still see the cracks and the artistic differences between the pieces, but the gold lacquer binds it all together and makes something new, something stronger, something more beautiful than before. Does that make sense?
During the last few months of my mom’s life, I felt completely broken. Everything kept falling apart and I couldn’t get a break. Reflecting back on that time, I think I can see where I started to put my life back together. It was when my community held and comforted me as I navigated shiva and shloshim. Don’t get me wrong, there are still huge pieces of my life that I’m trying to repair, but I don’t feel so broken anymore. Life is settling into a new rhythm and this month has been considerably brighter and more joyful. Some moments and days are harder than others, but I’m making it through and planning for a future with the people I love. I feel much safer and more secure than I ever have in my life.