I often buy things that are a little broken. I frequent thrift shops, garage sales and marketplace finds.
Sometimes at a thrift store somebody will say to me ‘you know that’s a little broken?’ And my reply is typically ‘yes but I’m a little broken too. We’ll be a good match.’
And when I say broken I don’t mean I have a broken spirit or a broken heart or a broken head or a broken arm. I have Parkinson’s disease. And because of that I feel like there’s just a little crack in who I am. A little broken is OK. It keeps me humble. It keeps me wanting to get better. It keeps me wanting to fix myself. It keeps me wanting to fix whatever I can even if it is just a broken plate.
Today I started work on a desk that I’ve had for a few years now. I wait for my broken bits of furniture to speak to me and tell me which room do you want to be in? What colour would you like to be? Or do you want to stay here at all? Maybe a certain piece of furniture that I buy isn’t meant for me. But it’s meant for me to fix it and give it to somebody who appreciates that one time that piece needed some love just for a little while. Kind of like fostering furniture.
I recently heard about a centuries-old Japanese art for fixing broken pottery. It’s called Kintsugi. This is where instead of fixing the piece of ceramic with glue and trying to hide the broken parts, a technique is applied using gold to highlight the cracks. The gold brings attention to the fractures. But in a beautiful way. It creates a new beautiful piece flaws and all.
Kintsugi gives the broken piece a second chance. Imagine if those beautiful pieces had been thrown away, they would be lost never to be appreciated again for what they were and what they have become.
I wish that I could fix my broken parts with a bit of gold. But instead of gold I use positivity and exercise and rest. And love, lots and lots of love. I guess you could consider that my family are my gold. They help hold me together. They support me. They give me what I need and leave me when I need nothing. They let me shine. But without them I would fall apart. Or maybe I would find another form of gold to hold myself together. I guess in a way one of the cracks is filled with a gold that I have put in myself. Let’s call that bit of gold determination.
I am determined to stay strong and useful for as long as I possibly can. And I will keep filling in the cracks as I need to. And I hope that with my positivity and my determination I will continue to be seen as useful and beautiful.
In the meantime my sweet little broken bits of pottery and dishes and furniture will continue to make my home look beautiful and be useful to me. And for those pieces that are a little bit broken I appreciate you. Thank you for surviving long enough to become a part of my life and remind me that a little bit broken is better than gone. That you can be a little bit broken and still become valuable and beautiful to somebody.