- through Fabrice Groult

Published on

Or how repaired brokenness reveals our inner beauty.

A famous tea master was visiting the wealthy home of a benefactor. The latter, anxious to impress his host, put in good place a superb Chinese vase of inestimable value. But the poet, more attentive to the trembling beauty of the garden and the leaves in the wind, paid no attention to this exceptional object. Once gone, the collector, angry, smashed the precious vase on the tatami. His relatives glued the debris back together by placing a little gold in its veins. During another visit, upon seeing the vase thus patched up, the tea master could not repress a: “How marvelous! It is much more beautiful like that! »

We often have the wrong idea of ​​what a perfect life, a harmonious relationship, a dream job or just a happy existence can be. We cultivate friendly chimeras which make us believe and think (which amounts to the same thing) that our life should resemble this or that, all these models and these images inherited from the myths or cultural stimulations that have rocked us.

"What others reproach you for, cultivate it, because it is you"

However, nothing is more touching than this imperfection that we want to chase away nowadays. Remember the adage of Cocteau willingly letting go of such and such an apprentice creator: "What others reproach you for, cultivate it, because it is you".

The legend says that the Japanese flower arrangement, which consists of arranging a few cut flowers and branches in a simple and so aesthetic bouquet called ikebana, came from the compassion expressed by a monk who, touched to see flowers mown down by a storm, decided to prolong their life a little not by picking them, but by collecting them on the way and in the grass to arrange them in a fragile and beautiful bouquet. Similarly, pottery or precious ceramics once fallen, broken or chipped, are in our Zen tradition picked up, the disjointed pieces and broken pieces are glued together using a lacquer sprinkled with gold. This delicate art breathes new life into what clumsiness or accident had destroyed. The metaphor is then visible: the object that we thought was cracked, broken, undone, fallen, becomes by the miracle of patience and attention, an even more precious and artistic object. Paradoxically, it is because it is imperfect and in no way conceals its history and its accidents that it gains an unspeakable poetic and aesthetic dimension. And then there is this gold which glues together the separated edges, this material light which flows through the interstices and which puts itself in an incongruous and unconditional way at the service of what is discarded, and whose scars it enriches. Such is the necessary fragility of the world, and these wounds, these sufferings so necessary for the realization of our plenitude. We must break in order to find ourselves. This gold which interferes in the improbable in-between of what is separated, which connects and reconciles what the illusion had disjointed, this gold is none other than the face, the most tangible here, of love. .

The object that we thought was cracked, broken, undone, fallen, becomes by the miracle of patience and attention, an even more precious and artistic object.

In our Western tradition of master glassmakers and stained glass makers, it will be lead that assembles broken colored glass in order to give birth to the shapes and stories that are painted in the light of the large windows, rosettes or lancets of cathedrals. A gold or a lead in the service of the light that they give to see, that they articulate and make palpable. There, in the light that floods the nave of the great Christian vessels and transfigures the heavy stones of the pillars and slabs into fields of moving colors, one contemplates love at work – there are three ways of contemplating the stained glass window: immerse yourself in the story it tells, turn your back on it to contemplate the play of splashes of light on the stone and finally become one with it by covering yourself and radiating your own light.

Likewise, a modest chipped and repaired bowl becomes this fragile marvel with luminous and loving ribbing.

The Kintsugi's invitation is straightforward: our imperfections are precious to us, they are our treasures. Rather than disguising our flaws and faults, which seems to separate us from the most essential in ourselves or in the other, take care of this space, this gap and simply love it. Give it attention, warmth and light.

photo of author

Fabrice Groult

Fabrice Groult is an adventurer, photographer and Buddhist who has traveled the world since a young age. After studying Buddhism in India, he embarked on an eighteen-month journey through Asia that took him to the Himalayas, where he discovered his passion for photography. Since then, he has traveled the world capturing images of Buddhist beauty and wisdom. He was a guide for ten years, and is now a journalist with Buddhist News.

Leave comments