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


My response to dVerse Poets Pub Haibun Monday – Kintsugi: The Art of Broken Pieces

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.

36 thoughts on “Kintsugi

  1. I truly love your idea of a garden… and also how wonderful it looks in autumn, and how it fills with animals… our garden is basically a piece of wood… and we just add a bit and trim a little here…. in August I use a scythe to clear it a bit… (also it’s less work and more time to enjoy the garden shade)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s like with your present mindset, you have created, or allowed a greenbelt to develop. It thrills me to see you gardening outside the box. Your haiku is killer too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your garden, given over to the beauty of nature, allowed to flourish, was until recently my garden.
    Regrettably, advancing years and a level of infirmity, led to the necessity of a maintenance free one as said garden had become a jungle and tree roots threatened the house foundations…
    Nevertheless. many plants potted in containers, and they will be allowed their freedom, if somewhat limited.
    Anna :o]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My daughter and her husband are great gardeners. They grew their own vegetables in a small plot that was attached to their basement flat but they moved last December and now they have lots of pots with vegetables and flowers!


  4. I like that kind of garden. Wish I could do that here. We’re expected to keep well cut green lawns, like all the other tenants, bleah! Secretly though, I’ve rebelled. The largest and most beautiful of the trees here are all volunteers. I’m glad you did too I’m glad nature is sculpting your garden, let the bees do it. Ha Ha

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  5. An wonderful grammar for the garden. Nature shouldn’t be tamed, it’s us who have to be tamed by the beaty of it. “woken by bee hum” – just explains how beautiful it’s to be one with nature!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t live in a cityn ow. I’ve lived in London and Cologne but since I moved up here I’ve fallen in love with nature – buildings and traffic just don’t do it for me!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post, I recently wrote a post about wabi-sabi and I think it’s a brilliant idea to embrace! We also let out garden grow of its own accord 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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