Kintsugi is the art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer that has been dusted or mixed with gold powder. I love this concept: the idea that we may be broken, but that in taking care and appreciating our flaws, we may end up more beautiful than when we began. More who we are. More nuanced and complete, somehow, for celebrating our scratches and breaks. Instead of hiding them, we cherish them, nurture them, and show them to the world proudly. Our scars become some of the strongest parts of us – less easily damaged than the areas that have known no such stress.
This site’s purpose is to foster self acceptance, self awareness, community and support for everyone and anyone who still hasn’t got it all figured out. If anyone who DOES have it all figured out is actually reading this…yeah. I don’t believe you. If you THINK you have it all figured out, you are almost certainly wrong. Unless you are the Dalai Lama. That dude seems to get it…but I’m not sure I have multiple lives to devote to getting it, so I’ll have to be satisfied with just wondering about it a lot.
A Chaotic Kumquat On A Mission
My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to explore life as a human being…and to survive long enough to keep exploring when I don’t feel like exploring any more. What makes us tick? Why am I so friggin’ weird? Does everyone else feel as weird as I do? Like they just don’t fit? If we all don’t fit…then, doesn’t that mean we fit? Maybe I’m not as weird as I think I am!
I want to invite everyone to explore these things with me. Maybe we can help each other figure out this whole being human thing by being honest and open and unabashedly real. I’ve been fascinated…
Wait…”fascinated” makes it sound fancier than it really is…too highbrow or pretentious. Starting over: I’ve been obsessed and anxious about how people function my whole life.
Messed up childhood, abusive brother, emotionally distant parents, blah, blah, blah – lots of reasons for being so obsessed by what makes people do what they do. The bottom line is that THIS is what occupies my mind whenever I’m not just flat out overwhelmed with life, or freaking out about one of a possible gazillion different things.
Like the fact that I just cleaned and there is somehow another mysterious creature formed from cat hair and dust and my soul’s silent screaming peaking out from under the couch, or the way the grocery store clerk looked at me funny when I said “You, too” when they asked me if I wanted paper or plastic.
I spend an impressive amount of time worrying about what I did wrong on any given day at any given time. I mean, I’m impressed by it. Not sure it’s that impressive to anyone else – other people would probably be more impressed if I did something a little more productive with my time.
When I’m not busy impressing myself with how very wrong I am, I get lost in my own head wondering: Why did that person say that? What will they get out of it? Why don’t people THINK about what they are doing?
Why are people mean, or shy, or happy – or NOT totally stressed out and overwhelmed all the time? Why is that person able to make themselves clean the kitchen every hour on the hour, but that other person is a hoarder with a pile of used diapers in their bathtub?
More About The Art Of Being Human
The art at the top of this page is a painting I did for a friend. Our friendship was broken because I freaked out and behaved terribly and literally “broke up” with her. I realized what I had done as soon as I woke up from my anxiety induced out of body experience, during which my evil alter ego had taken over and tried to ruin my life. I thought it was too late. I was mortified and couldn’t imagine that she would ever forgive me, much less be my friend again.
It took me over a year – I think maybe longer – to get up the courage to just send an email and apologize. I didn’t expect anything from it. I simply wanted to let her know that I loved her and missed her, and then give myself permission to forgive myself and try to do better.
She not only replied to my email right away, but was generous with her forgiveness and love. We tentatively grew our friendship again, and today I count her as one of a very precious few people who are truly close to my heart.
I loved the idea of representing that break referencing the Kintsugi way of making something broken even more beautiful.
HOLD ON – FAKER ALERT!!!
Oh my gawd, I’m such a faker. That last part sounds good and all “woo-woo” and lovely…but the real truth is a little messier than that. The poignant “our scars make us stronger” gold cracks came after the painting was completely finished, and kind of perfect. Then…I had one of my “episodes”.
The whole sordid truth is that I stressed out over that particular painting the entire time I was making it because I was making it for her…and it just HAD to be perfect. Then, after it was done, I had a ‘sode – a full blown explosion of anxiety and anger and frustration and self hatred and just – AAAHHHRHRHRH!!! – during which I ripped up one of my favorite drawings, destroyed several other paintings and about half of my art supplies, and repeatedly scratched this painting with a screwdriver because, at the time, I found it ridiculous that I would ever think I could EVER make a painting good enough to give to this particular friend and she was going to hate it anyway and laugh behind my back but tell me she liked it because I was so STUPID for thinking I could paint anything anyone would ever want in their homes EVER.
Days later I decided to repair it rather than throwing it in the trash. I felt very wise and like “an artist”, deciding that those scratches represented our struggles and the reparation of our friendship.
I don’t know if I ever told her the whole story, or just made it seem like it was all on purpose. I did learn to never, ever make a painting as a gift for someone again, because it messes with my mind WAY too much.
Let’s Just Be Real
I’m so very tired of pretense…of feeling like the facades we present to the world make us better. Pretense makes me want to puke. It doesn’t make us better, and it makes me sad and anxious and tired. Life is messy and gross, sometimes, and painful and stupid and … well, and sometimes we ARE crazy and wrong.
Life is ALSO all the woo-woo stuff, all the beauty of butterflies and love and the moon and the stars and trees and friendship and art and making real connections with people…and creating something beautiful after we mess up and break things. Let’s talk about ALL of that…and not even try to make it seem perfect.