Healing Our own Injuries and "Brokenn... - Advanced Prostate...

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Healing Our own Injuries and "Brokenness" with Gold

MateoBeach profile image

"Lessons From The Japanese Art of Kintsugi

." The following is an adaptation of an article that inspired me to consider the image above: This beautiful, oddly-shaped and broken vessel, healed with gold, as a metaphor for my own life and journey with prostate cancer.

Most people don’t purposefully shatter their cherished pieces of pottery, but that isn’t always the case in Japanese culture. Adorning broken ceramics with a lacquer mixed with powdered gold is part of a more than 500-year-old Japanese tradition that highlights imperfections rather than hiding them. This not only teaches calm when a cherished piece of pottery breaks; it is a reminder of the beauty of human fragility as well.

In a world that so often prizes youth, perfection and excess, embracing the old and battered may seem strange. But the 15th-Century practice of kintsugi, meaning “to join with gold”, is a reminder to stay optimistic when things fall apart and to celebrate the flaws and missteps of life.

The kintsugi technique is an extension of the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi

which sees beauty in the incomplete and value in simplicity. The broken pieces’ gilded restoration usually takes up to three months, as the fragments are carefully glued together with the sap of an indigenous Japanese tree, left to dry for a few weeks and then adorned with gold running along its cracks.

In an age of mass production and quick disposal, learning to accept and celebrate scars and flaws is a powerful lesson in humanity and sustainability. - Yasmin El-Beih

Personal life planning and navigating our PC journey, both for patient warriors and for our heroic caregivers, is most often an exercise in trial-and-error or course corrections management, more than the pursuit of perfection.

Indeed, the best plans are those written in pencil, where numerous erasures are visible. They are novels that remain forever in draft form, in which the author continues to build on the narrative, charting out a series of compelling contingencies and Plan B’s and C's.

But these divergences from Plan A, the unfinished story, the erasures and adjustments, all add to the texture of the plan more than they detract. Even more so is that we invevitably accumulate injuries, traumas and lost capacities, in every arena of our lives: physical, emotional, mental, social and financial. And most keenly on the levels of personal relationships. The whole amounts to a patchwork of brokenness mixed with incomplete healing which brings more character and depth to our being.

It is not unlike the 500-year-old Japanese practice of kintsugi.

The translation of kintsugi is “golden joinery,” and it is an art form in which broken pottery is fused back together by precious metals, like gold, platinum, or silver. This technique isn’t a mere exercise in scarcity or frugality; it is a philosophy from which we can draw direction and inspiration for more effective—and a more rich and meaningful life journey.

Here are four principles of kintsugi that can instruct our own life journey:

1.That which is broken can be mended. Flaws or losses and how can be sources of character strength and depth . Of compassion and wisdom. That which we can ring forward into our relationships and offer to others.

2. Where we are broken, can be features: Of our character. Testimony to heroism and depth of love. Who can deny the beauty of a grieving caregiver wife who has lost the battle along with her husband, who carries the "brokenness" of PTSD and depression? And now is inspired to take that suffering to bring support forward to other caregivers. How beautiful and honorable is that? It is gold indeed.

3.There is “ beauty in the incomplete.” Kintsugi draws from the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi—“wabi", which roughly means ‘the elegant beauty of humble simplicity, and "sabi", which means ‘the passing of time and subsequent deterioration.’” And our life journey never reaches a point of completion. Indeed this is true for advanced prostate cancer. It is our harsh teacher for life.

4.Lastly, it must be acknowledged that the process of healing and adjusting to what PC and its treatment has cost us takes time. “The broken pieces’ gilded restoration takes months, as the fragments are carefully glued together with the sap of an indigenous Japanese tree, left to dry for a few weeks and then adorned with gold running along its cracks.” The one theme that is likely common among the host of intentions and stages of our life journey is that they will take time to unfold.

It is important to be mindful that neither kintsugi nor in crafting our best possible life's journey, and adjusting to all of our challenges and losses, is formless. There is a mold that is created, we fit the pieces together in the best possible way, bringing every resource and strategy to bear toward the highest dignity of life and capacity towards which we strive. Without intentions, there is no plan and we end up wherever circumstances dictate. Without objectives, we are merely the means in someone else’s planning.

Personal treatment and life planning, like kintsugi, doesn’t encourage passivity or glorify failure. Rather it frees us from the momentary paralysis of missteps, invites us to move on from every obstacle and treatment failure. Teaches us how to put the pieces back together, and allows us to celebrate the gift of life and our relationships, bonded, healed and adorned by our lessons learned.

Where have we each been broken? How has the patient mending taken place and restored a new sort of wholeness? Can we recognize and honor the beauty of such golden mending in ourselves and in others?

43 Replies

Wow. Just wow. Much to be learned from this passage.

That’s all I can say too - Wow!

Awesome! A great ancient art form with deep meaning . Thanks. 😔

My husband's journey and suffering along this uncertain path have made all of us in the family only too aware of the need to be flexible and resilient in the face of obstacles. Your thoughts are very appropriate guidance to me today just when I needed this reminder. Thank you.

Well said and very thought provoking. The art of staying calm and at peace with oneself is highly recommended. It reminds me of their art of Bonsai pruning and caring.

Thanks for sharing ❤️

Haniff

My take in fewer words >>>

Buy a new car, put dent in new car, accept the dent AND DRIVE ON

Thanks. I can now better accept the scratch I put on my 8 month old car.

I recently saw a travel show to Japan . This art form was visited and described in high esteem by the culture there .👏👏👏❤️

Talk about fixing with gold in a broken marriage..... my ex-wife is an expert......and she's not even Japanese.... Sayonara 14k.....

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Monday 09/06/2021 10:01 PM DST

Kaliber profile image
Kaliber in reply to j-o-h-n

Lol 👏

j-o-h-n profile image
j-o-h-n in reply to Kaliber

I see you finally broke the chains.........

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Tuesday 09/07/2021 7:26 PM DST

Kaliber profile image
Kaliber in reply to j-o-h-n

I couldn’t even break wind, let alone break chains.

If you think about it …. MateoBeach’s post here … is , in a lot of ways, exactly what you contribute to this group as well. Your uplifting , irreverent, style of humor does help people that may be having a dark time …. ( and if you are one of the croakers here you have plenty of that, it’s only natural ) … you help people to try to mend depression and darkness by causing them to shift their focus to a better, lighter place … People either “ get it , or not “ about you … I “ get it “ and it’s pretty kewl. You are some of the “ gold “ glue here buddy.

Just say’in , I don’t want your head to explode or nudd’in so watch out …. 😂😂😂😂

j-o-h-n profile image
j-o-h-n in reply to Kaliber

Wow!!! Do you object in my adding your post to my resume? I may even send a copy to my ex-wife....hoping she'll get lockjaw by gritting her fangs....

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Tuesday 09/07/2021 8:11 PM DST

Kaliber profile image
Kaliber in reply to j-o-h-n

Better wait til I get to the part about asking for that loan .

😂😂😂😂❤️❤️❤️

j-o-h-n profile image
j-o-h-n in reply to Kaliber

You first have to apply through my colleague "Tonto" since I'm the "Loan Arranger".....

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Tuesday 09/07/2021 8:27 PM DST

Kaliber profile image
Kaliber in reply to j-o-h-n

I think I saw Tonto’s picture on the wall at the post office, kemosahbee …

j-o-h-n profile image
j-o-h-n in reply to Kaliber

I guess you know how Indians get their names....

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Tuesday 09/07/2021 10:15 PM DST

Kaliber profile image
Kaliber in reply to j-o-h-n

Their mothers and fathers give them the names ?

j-o-h-n profile image
j-o-h-n in reply to Kaliber

close but no cigar...

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Tuesday 09/07/2021 10:41 PM DST

j-o-h-n profile image
j-o-h-n in reply to Kaliber

A very young brave asks his Dad "Dad how do Indians get their names?" Dad replies "well son do you know chief bird in the sky, when he was born there was a bird flying in the sky and chief running bear when he was born there was a bear running by, but why do you ask, two dogs f--king"....

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Tuesday 09/07/2021 10:50 PM DST

Kaliber profile image
Kaliber in reply to j-o-h-n

……………….. speechless ……… oh dear ….. I hope there are no Native Americans reading this ….. prolly be parked in your driveway tonight or tomorrow morning yayahahahaya.

Just say’in 😂😂😂😂

j-o-h-n profile image
j-o-h-n in reply to Kaliber

There's one on the corner of my roof already. He's holding a bow and an arrow and pointing with his back towards the wind.....

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Wednesday 09/08/2021 5:30 PM DST

Kaliber profile image
Kaliber in reply to j-o-h-n

Just tell them ….for cripes sakes , I’m a mature adult from another era and just not tuned in to modern situational faux pas nomenclature ( look that up in your Funk & Wagnalls ) yayahahahaya yayahahahaya. Its all good my brother …...

❤️❤️❤️

j-o-h-n profile image
j-o-h-n in reply to Kaliber

I found Funk, still searching for Wagnalls.

*** SELECT WATCH ON YOU TUBE ***

youtube.com/watch?v=OPf0YbX...

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Wednesday 09/08/2021 6:21 PM DST

Kaliber profile image
Kaliber in reply to j-o-h-n

Yayahahahaya yayahahahaya…… how sad is it when “ all “ my tired old clichés are so old no one even remembers them any more ….. it’s a doozy. 😁😁😁❤️❤️❤️

Kaliber profile image
Kaliber in reply to Kaliber

We’ hop in our flivver, it was a Doozy , and drive down to the soda fountain and get a cherry coke. Two pumps in mine please. Suzy rocked in her kit cat skirt and that tight knit sweater.

j-o-h-n profile image
j-o-h-n in reply to Kaliber

Me in my pegged pants with pistol pockets and a saddle stripe........Hair full of Dixie Peach....

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Wednesday 09/08/2021 6:56 PM DST

Kaliber profile image
Kaliber in reply to j-o-h-n

Don’t forget the pointy toe shoes and that swank chain to your pocket. A full fashion man.

Yayahahahaya 😂😂😂

j-o-h-n profile image
j-o-h-n in reply to Kaliber

Yeah and smelling like Old Spice or English Leather.....

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Wednesday 09/08/2021 9:31 PM DST

Kaliber profile image
Kaliber in reply to j-o-h-n

Yayahahaha

Yadifan profile image
Yadifan in reply to j-o-h-n

Don't waste your gold dust on your ex. Save it for all of us here that appreciate you and your sense of humor.

j-o-h-n profile image
j-o-h-n in reply to Yadifan

Remember "She got the mine, I got the shaft".... Thanks anyway....

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Friday 09/10/2021 10:20 PM DST

MateoBeach profile image
MateoBeach in reply to Kaliber

Exactly! Long May j-o-h-n tease entertain and uplift us. 👍🏼👍🏼🤩

CAMPSOUPS profile image
CAMPSOUPS in reply to Kaliber

Same here. Good to hear from you. You were about a day away from getting a pestering personal message ha.

Kaliber profile image
Kaliber in reply to CAMPSOUPS

Thanks for thinking about me buddy … haven’t been my fluffy best of late , plus Darryl ( rightfully ) made me sit in a corner for 24 hours and then dump a monthly Zometa pain train in the middle and stir the mix. Yuck … Still, I feel like a whiner talking to you …. Possibly one of the few warriors circling the drain as much as I am … yayahahahaya I’ll bet, between the two of us we “ easily “ set some kind of record for mets .

Its all good brother …. Hoping the pain train moves on today or tomorrow or so … that’ll brighten up things some. I still got some miles left in this old chassis … might be a bit dented and a little rusted out and belching a little smoke out the back ( ha! ) ….nothing a trip the car wash and a new pine scented deodorant hanging from the mirror won’t cure yayahahahaya yayahahahaya.

Appreciate it ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Anomalous profile image
Anomalous in reply to Kaliber

Nicely stated, brother

Kaliber profile image
Kaliber in reply to Anomalous

❤️❤️❤️

NO broken chains here. I am a happily kept EUNUCH by wife of 48 years who care's not for diamonds or gold but instead for lots of back scratching.

That's so romantic........ now my only question is "What HUNK is she thinking about when you're scratching?" Come to think of it "Who are you thinking about?"......

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Tuesday 09/07/2021 8:19 PM DST

Hi Paul,

Thank you for thinking deeply and writing this for us. For myself, this comes at a good time. It helps my wife and me maintain perspective during a tough time. Hope you’re doing okay.

Jeff

Nice post MB . 👏

I have several pieces of very old Chinese export porcelain that has been repaired using hand applied staples. I love them!

MateoBeach profile image
MateoBeach in reply to greatjohn

Ah. The Frankenstein method. “I’m alive!”

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