Kintsugi... ...continued from page 65

connection with the earth that we have (acknowledged or not) through the water we drink, the energy that heats our houses, the food we eat, and the land we develop and drive on. Our human lives and the life of the planet are joined in an evolving, struggling understanding of what it means to make a safe home. Home. An imperfect, always transforming shelter we build and re- build, repair and rearrange. We generally address the cracks in our lives by making them invisible if we can; and if we can’t, sealing them up to prevent leaks and further damage. But kintsugi teaches us we can address them by acknowledging the gap and emphasizing their beauty with artful design. We correct without papering over the evi- dence of time and troubles. Think about your friends who are recovering from addiction, or forging a new path after a job loss. Remember your own process mov- ing through physical therapy after an injury. Have you ever embraced a creative project that transformed a trauma into a triumph? The fis - sures in our experiences are disruptive, painful, but generative. We can’t forget them; we can illuminate the gold they give us. What starts with acceptance grows into compassionate celebration. Like life challenges, traditional kintsugi repairs are often compli- cated, with special care required to reunite the fragile, broken pieces of a bowl using a toxic, powerful lacquer from the urushi tree. Pow- dered metal, usually gold, seals the lacquer and becomes part of the new vessel. The breaking point becomes a foundation, transformed and illuminated by careful craft and attention to detail. What are the tools, then, that make the imperfect whole? • Compassionate celebration of loss and its wisdom • An embrace of imperfection • Understanding the new structures that create a foundation for renewed unity of purpose • Acknowledging the past while sustaining that purpose • Gently connecting all the broken parts together to make some- thing new, something honest, something beautiful because it had healed This wisdom can carry us into effective and realistic solutions that are ours to do every day in service to healing the wounded earth. The fissures of environmental break-down may feel too wide and deep to correct. But environmental justice was never about embracing the perfection of Eden, or even trying to reinstate that imaginary perfec- tion. All we need to do is look around us to see the cracks spreading into our own communities, our own families. Then we can be the heal- ing artists we were born to be, each in our own way stepping up to save what can become whole again (even in its imperfection). Cultural kintsugi requires us to use mind, body and spirit in service of renewed wholeness. We can write about, research, organize, mea - sure and document the changes in our communities, to correct imbal- ances and preserve the places where the natural world is still intact. We can show up for protests, stand up when local polluters threaten our health, support businesses that bring healthy food into our com- munities, donate to organizations that work for causes we want to support. We can align our spiritual communities with environmental causes and a respect for nature as part of our soul’s path. Just as personal healing happens step by step, so does the earth’s healing. Every day, we have the opportunity to choose artful recov- ery, creative correction, and compassionate purpose. If we don’t get caught up in the impossible search for perfection, we can fortify and restore the imperfect, tangible beauty in our precious lives, our price- less world. Carol Burbank is a writer and writing coach, founder of Storyweaving Coaching and Consulting. Based in Maryland, she runs the Storyweav - ing Retreat Center (now open!) where her experiments with moonflowers, prisms and poetry help her navigate the unpredictable. She is a regular col - umnist for Science of Mind Magazine . For more information: www.story -

Virtual-Phone or Zoom Sessions

Gentle Dental Care FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY Mercury Free Dentistry since 1982 Board Certified by the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine Our office offers a unique approach combining the best from the natural modalities of homeopathy, Chinese medicine and nutrition, with the latest lifesaving treatment for sleep apnea and snoring. We have been a health oriented practice for over 40 years, offering a variety of quality services including:

• Preventive Care & Non-Surgical Alternatives to Gum Disease • TMJ (Jaw Joint) Therapy • Crowns & Bridgework • Invisalign and Zirconia Implants

• Cosmetic Dentistry • Tooth Colored Fillings • General Dentistry • Children’s Dentistry • Snoring and sleep apnea

WE LISTEN! Richard D. Fischer, D.D.S., FAGD, MIAOMT Past President International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology, Fellow Academy of General Dentistry EVERGREEN PROFESSIONAL CENTER 4222 Evergreen Lane, Annandale, Virginia 22003 (703) 256-4441 •

66—PATHWAYS—Spring 23

Made with FlippingBook interactive PDF creator