Piecing things back together

Kintsugi pottery/Wikipedia
Kintsugi pottery/Wikipedia

My oldest brother recently told me about Kintsugi, the Japanese method of fixing broken pottery with gold. The method celebrates the item’s history by emphasizing the cracks and breaks instead of hiding them. Sometimes the repaired piece is more beautiful than the original, revitalizing it and giving it new life.

I’m pretty broken right now and, while there are shards missing, never to be seen again, I can at least put things back together as best I can.

Mom and Dad were remodeling their house in the last two years. Mom got sick suddenly this last fall and they didn’t finish the remodel before she passed. She never got to see it completed.

This summer my family will be completing the remodel. The focal point of the house is the kitchen. In our family the number one thing is that everyone always—always—has something to eat. No one goes hungry. So their kitchen was set up to be sure there was always food for whoever needed it. A big stove for canning and baking. A sliding door to easily bring fresh produce in from the garden. Plenty of space to set out pots and pans to fill plates, and chairs so everyone has a seat during the meal.

The last few years I’ve dabbled with canning and preserving, always tapping Mom for the wisdom gained over many years of putting food by. The last two months I’ve stopped myself reaching for my phone to send her pictures or messages I don’t know how many times.

With the blessing of my family, I’m going to record my experiences as I follow Mom’s notes on canning and gardening. A large chunk of my family is pooling our collective skill sets to finish some of her craft projects (knitting, crochet, and quilting, mainly).

Lastly, she left me her spinning wheel. She bought it 10-15 years ago and it unfortunately hadn’t seen much use due to them moving, then remodeling. I figure if she wanted me to have it I should learn to use it. So I’ll be documenting my trial and error on that as well.

Strength of a character isn’t always about how much you can handle before you break. It’s also about how much you can handle after you’ve been broken.
Robert Tew