Kintsugi

by Emily

Shinji Moon

How often, she asked me the night before,
Do we think it’s okay to fall apart?

We live in a break it, you pay kind of culture.

A handle falls off of
a coffee mug and suddenly — the entire thing is useless. We learn to
sweep evidence beneath the rug, throw broken
pieces into a paper bag and never think about them again.

The Japanese knew another way. They
mended their broken vases with gold, aggrandized
the sharp corners and turned shards of broken pottery
into basins that hold light
together.

But here, there’s no room for mistakes.

We give up so easily — on broken
toys, snapped piano legs, on each other — and we make believe
that even our tongues are bulletproof,
as if we are stronger than what these
fragile bones
can take.

We don’t forgive our broken bowls. We don’t learn to
piece them back together. We trip over our own skeletons

and sweep them back beneath our skin; collect the splattering
of our sorrows and flush them down the toilet like

secrets. We’re so ashamed of that which
fumbles and falls through our fingers that we forget that

there’s another way: another way instead of
going through our days buying coffee at five a.m. and fucking
above the covers while rattling and spilling over, our
insides bleeding from all the damn glass.

We were never taught that
by the end of our lives, we didn’t have to be made of a hundred
million cracks. We were never taught that we could have it differently, that
we could piece ourselves back together with light,
that our bodies could burn from inside out.

Moon gracefully took a piece of Japanese culture and formed from it a commentary on the ways we treat ourselves. My formatting isn’t exact to what was in her book, and I do believe that makes a difference. Which just means you should purchase her book The Anatomy of Being. 

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