November 15 Peace Plate Kintsugi

Is it me or does this broken plate look like a peace sign?

“When you walk out of the storm, you won’t be the same person that walked in. That’s what the storm is all about.”

I broke the lid to my toilet tank. I removed it from the tank and accidentally dropped it on the hard tile floor. It shattered into twenty-five million pieces. In a totally unrelated, but kinda related thought: I love the way the Japanese embellish broken things. They recognize the beauty in a thing’s brokenness. It’s called kintsugi: “golden joinery”. The broken pieces are put back together with a lacquer that is mixed with gold (also silver or platinum, sometimes) and binding rice flour. The broken item is beautified and there is no attempt to try to hide the fact that it is/was broken. Now there’s a philosophical thought to chew on: if something is broken and you fix it but it still looks broken, is it no longer broken? Another day, folks. Another day. We don’t have enough time in this post for me to tackle that one.

I have said it before and I will say it again, the Japanese have it all figured out. I seriously thought about kintsugi and making my toilet tank into a work of art. But again, twenty-five million pieces. I decided not to drive myself crazy playing “toilet puzzle” so I went looking to buy another lid. A toilet tank lid is not easily had in these parts. I found a place to buy one after much internet searching on the word “toilet” – yeah, don’t even ask. Weirdness abounds on these here interwebs, ya’ll. The new lid fits like a charm. Who knew you could buy toilet tank lids? I certainly didn’t.

In another totally unrelated, but kinda related thought: my son breaks dishes all the time as the resident dishwasher of the Batcave (our family home – this is what we call it, for reals). I love my dishes. That’s why I bought them, right? Something about them called to me: a pretty pattern, shape or color. So today my First was to practice the Japanese art of kintsugi on my non-Japanese broken plates (I make that distinction because I do actually possess Japanese plates – true story). If you try “American” kintsugi, when finished, use the plate to hold mail, keys, soap or something like that. I don’t think the glue and paint that you will most likely use for this process will be safe for food items. Unless, you are totally authentic and make a binding rice flour. I did not do this. I used glue, so my plate will most likely make it’s way to the bathroom to hold a candle, a crystal or something equally beautiful. I may be breaking some dinnerware on purpose around here in the near future. Look out!


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