The art of Kintsugi – beauty in the broken

Often in life, there is so much beauty in the #broken

The Japanese have an ancient art form known as kintsugi, where they repair broken pottery using a lacquer made up of gold, silver and other precious metals. These master craftsmen work in immaculate detail, striving not to recreate the original, but rather to establish a new aesthetic. Their philosophy aims to make the object even more beautiful than it was before it was broken.

In a way, each and every one of us is a little bit broken, too. We would like to believe we are perfect, but in reality, us humans are a unique mish-mash of the good, the bad and the ugly. But as we live and age and gather wisdom, we get the opportunity to apply our own brand of kintsugi … We slowly fine-tune our characters, slow down our manic lifestyles, improve on our relationships, and find ways to whittle away at our flaws. It’s an on-going process to get those pieces to fit in all the right places, but as it is with life, the essence of the doing is in the trying.

There are many parallels to be found in the multitude of broken places on our Blue Planet, too. Last week, we got to spend some time in Bushmanskloof near McGregor as part of one of our oZoneAfrica projects, and it was heartbreaking to see how this nature reserve had been devastated by the New Year’s fires. And yet, from amongst the charred and blackened earth, nature was already applying its restorative kintsugi, with splashes of purple disas, crimson pelargoniums and jade restios blades beginning to weave a new tapestry.

We got to run free within the shattered rock and scattered detritus of these rugged wilderness ranges. We also got to saddle up the mountain bikes for a quickie crank, all while testing  Indola’s  African Riding Shirts and they absolutely rock, Philip Gruter. Despite the fire damage, the natural beauty was truly celestial. This will always be my cathedral, this ‘Church of the Great Outdoors’, and I wish we had more time to spend watching this special place go about mending itself. But that makes for a perfect excuse to return soon.

Click here to view the pics