Most people like their gardens to be neat and tidy, organised into geometrical flowerbeds and manicured lawns. Any plant that shows signs of running riot is tamed into submission and so-called weeds are relentlessly chopped and ripped out of soil. Not so in our garden. We allow it to grow in its own way, creating cool shade from overhanging plants, shrubs and creepers, where deer and birds hide. The garden reveals the richness of changing seasons, shades of green and, at this time of year, impressionistic splashes of colour that enhance the cracks in the trellises and jazz up the weeds.
woken by bee hum
nature’s in her summer clothes
gilding the garden
Kim M. Russell, 2017
Grace is our host this Monday and she has been telling us about kintsugi, the ancient Japanese art of restoring broken ceramic pottery. She says that kintsugi means ‘golden rejoining’ and refers to the Zen philosophy of acknowledging flaws, embracing change, and restoring an object with a newfound beauty. It’s believed by many that this special technique originated in the 15th century when Japanese shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu accidentally broke his favourite tea bowl and sent it to China for repairs. When it was returned to him — pieced together with metal staples — he charged his Japanese craftsmen with finding a more aesthetic repair method, and what they developed was the method of kintsugi, which uses lacquer dusted with gold or other metals to repair cracked, chipped, or broken dishes.
The idea behind kintsugi is to highlight — rather than hide — an object’s flaws, making them beautiful instead of unsightly. This is a prominent theme in the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, which is all about embracing imperfections and revering authenticity above all.
Grace has shared some images and video to illustrate kintsugi and challenges us to write about finding beauty in broken pieces or imperfection and/or the process of mending broken pieces. We can write about a ‘broken’ object, cityscape or landscape, or personal experience of mending and embracing imperfections, In one or two tight paragraphs, followed by a nature-themed haiku.