The Japanese have a word –
kintsukuroi – that means “repair with gold.”
Using gold powder, broken vessels are put back together,
their fractures and imperfections illuminated,
a testament to being impermanent, unfinished, and flawed;
more beautiful for having been broken.

When a soul is broken
by a careless deed or a hard word,
we, in our lack of awareness, regard that soul as flawed
when we should instead line those fractures with gold.
They should be shamelessly shown to the world; illuminated,
proving to all that survival itself will hold you together.

With precious gold holding your soul together
how can you truly be broken?
I beg you, embrace those scars you’ve illuminated.
Wabi-sabi – the Japanese have another word -
it means beauty in imperfection; better even than gold
is acceptance of transience, reverence for the flawed.

Everything is impermanent; flawed;
not apart from history but together,
a past highlighted in gold.
Every scar and crack, every broken
bit, stitched back whole, woven like the words
of a hymn, the wavering voice illuminated

like a medieval Bible, illuminated
by men, monks, necessarily flawed,
copying their words,
crammed in their cloisters together,
pondering a philosophy that became broken
when men began to value the gold

above the lesson of why fissures are repaired with gold.
These breaks in the soul cry out to be illuminated.
In some ways we are all broken;
the curse of being human – impermanent, flawed,
and we’re all in it together.
Kintsukuroi – the Japanese have a word –

To repair with gold that which is flawed;
fractures illuminated when joined together,
more beautiful for having been broken by deed or by word.

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