Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills

Open minds, loving hearts, helping hands


A Time for All Ages follow-up 01MAY16

Author Sarah Ahrens, Written May 3, 2016

broken mugThe monthly theme of “blessing” began with a broken coffee mug being revealed within the Wonder Box this past Sunday May 1, 2016 during the time for all ages.
Apparently, Mr. B was a tad careless in the transportation of the mug from home to the sanctuary and the handle was broken off.

However, the broken mug still served as a good jumping off point for some audience sharing and wondering questions.
Mr. B found some comfort in knowing that other people had sometimes broken things too- such as bowls, toys, bones…BONES!  Ouch…
While Mr. B has never broken a bone, he shared the story of the small scar on the top of his head that can be seen after getting a haircut.
People shared some of the lessons they learned from their experiences- often a hard lesson in what not to do, or to engage in an activity more carefully- like skateboarding, not running into family members.

It was also pointed out that even after an item is broken one need not immediately throw it away- it could be reused in some fashion.  The broken mug might be a flower pot for example.  Or one might be able to repair the item, as someone said they were able to repair some toys.
And certainly when it comes to broken bones and injured body parts, they can usually be repaired as well.  Sometimes the the brokenness is not from a physical injury but an emotional, spiritual, or mental injury- caused by ourselves or others.

This led Mr. B to ask if anyone had heard of the term, “kintsugi“.  Kintsugi is a Japanese artform that deals with repairing broken pottery.  But the repairs are done with a special lacquer that is dusted with gold so that where the item is repaired, the cracks are actually now more prominent.  This stems from a philosophy that the damage is a part of the object’s history to be recognized and even celebrated- not hidden or disguised.
The same can be applied to the human experience- the “breaks” we experience are a part of our story, lessons can be learned from them- and they can even come to be viewed as blessings in our lives.

A few more books on making mistakes are available for perusal in fellowship hall:
Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg
Everybody Makes Mistakes by Christine Kole MacLean
It’s Okay to Make Mistakes by Todd Parr

So what experiences of brokenness might you revisit and repair in “kintsugi-fashion”?