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Kintsugi - Piecing things back together

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

Published in Irish Hospice Foundation's Grief Journal, 2022, as part of Compassionate Culture Network Programme

The Japanese art of repairing broken things

Seeing the cracks in things, like Cohen, but not quite

As something to put light into, rather than let light come through

Gilding them to give the whole piece a boldly proclaimed fragility

And so we came yesterday

Guided by the lovely Ailish

To repair and redeem our broken things:

Some plates, a boldly coloured vase,

An old china cup purchased specially for the day

A mug about waiting forever for the perfect man

A garlic holder, kept for years despite being broken And a porridge bowl with tractors on it, in daily use for years until it was dropped in recent weeks,

Gathered up and now being restored by the same daughter who had gifted it to her Dad

And the laughing bard money box, childhood gift for another

One of a pair

He played his lyre and laughed and sang, while his partner made ready for war

All brought with their imperfections

- Or worse in bits-

Held and gently mended in hands

As talk around the table focussed on what we had to do

Any mention about what was in us to be mended

That which had drawn each of us there

More on the edges,

At the tea flasks

Or sitting outside

Small steps on the road to piecing ourselves together

Finding in the sharing of our stories, perhaps, some of the glue the still broken bits of us might need

Photo by Motoki Tonn on Unsplash

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