In my new book “Eternally Artemisia” one of the themes of the book is art therapy. My main character is a therapist who leads retreats in Tuscany. One of the techniques she teaches her group of women who have suffered abuse is the art of Kintsugi. What is this? Let me explain.
In Japan, when a vase breaks, instead of throwing it away, it is repaired with gold that is literally inserted between the cracks to hold the pieces together. It is done because it is believed that a broken vase can become even more beautiful than it was originally.
But what matters is not so much the possibility of repairing an object by increasing its beauty and value, as the underlying philosophy, that maintains life consists not only of integrity, but also of rupture and, as such, should be accepted.
The pain as well as the error, for the Japanese, does not embody a feeling to be eradicated or hidden, just as aesthetic imperfection is not an element capable of ruining the harmony of a figure; the cracks of the broken object must not be hidden or avoided but accepted and valued, just as the scars and wounds of the soul are not hidden but exhibited without embarrassment, being the same part of man and his history.
Kitsugi shows us that a form of beauty and superior perfection can be reborn from a restored wound, from the slow reparation resulting from a rupture, leaving us to understand that the signs impressed by life on our skin and in our mind have value and meaning, and that it is from them, from their acceptance, from their healing, that the processes of regeneration and inner rebirth that make us whole again in a new way.
My new novel is now available on Amazon in print and Epub—formatted for Kindle and iPad readers. It is also available on Ingram Spark.