GREEN NEWS & VIEWS Kintsugi: A Way of Healing the Earth and Ourselves

AVILLION of UNIVERSAL INSIGHT ONE HEART • ONE EARTH • ONE LIGHT We seek to cultivate the Timeless Wisdom of Heart!

BY CAROL BURBANK Sometimes it’s easier to believe we are broken beyond repair than to move towards healing and change. The wound feels too deep. The work feels too hard. We don’t know where to begin. The Japanese art of kintsugi gives power to hope by helping us re- claim the beauty of healing without pretending we are (or ever were) perfect. This ancient practice repairs cracked or shattered pottery with gold lacquer, creating a masterpiece of alchemical wholeness. Some- thing new is born from something broken. Kintsugi grows out of the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi , em- bracing the flawed or imperfect, honoring years of use and sometimes even making it possible for something to continue in service. Wabi-sa- bi doesn’t only apply to objects like pottery; the idea has deep roots in a tradition that honors life’s challenges, bringing compassion to the breaks, the knocks and the shattering we face along the way.

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From this perspective, healing means honoring and tending the cracks that appear inevitably as we grow. Some are the direct result of our choices, while others happen because of circumstances we can’t control. Whatever the cause, deciding to repair what can be repaired, and mark the seam with compassionate gold, moves us and our com- munities from brokenness into beauty. This message resonates with the fierce hope of Earth Day, an annu - al celebration of our kinship with the planet that began in 1970, soon after Rachel Carson’s groundbreaking book Silent Spring was pub- lished. Earth Day aligns activists and compassionate citizens across many causes, all focused on repairing the broken places hard use and unconscious exploitation have created on the earth. This collaboration is a gold thread that weaves solutions for healing toxic brokenness, even though the damage has often been deeply em- bedded in the land itself. Healthy solutions have increased every year, from banning dangerous pesticides to sponsoring cleanups, commu- nity-based artwork, teach-ins, scientific breakthroughs, and calls for reform and sustainable innovation in the mega-polluting fashion in- dustry. Millions of people craft solutions that resonate throughout the year. That same gold thread of healing can create a better future for us, personally. Our battered planet and our battered souls are inextri- cably linked. The connection goes deeper than the intimate physical

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PATHWAYS—Spring 23—65

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