Every day we are inundated by snippets of information from a variety of social media sources, and because of this great influx we skim along the various posts and notifications, not taking any real interest or time to investigate further. Once in a while however, a posting stands out among everything else and demands notice, it compels you to click onto the link and read more. This is exactly what happened to us as we were scrolling through our Facebook feed. Health and wellbeing expert David “Avocado” Wolfe (yup that’s his name and he is definitely worth a look up when you have a sec) posted a picture of a beautiful Japanese tea bowl that had clearly been rendered to pieces and then, artfully put back together. The picture had an accompanying quote by the American conceptual artist Barbra Bloom which read,
“When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage
By filling the crack with gold. They believe that when something’s
Suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful”
As you, our readers know, we have spent the last two months blogging and posting articles about the social stigma attached to alcoholism, addiction and recovery ; while this quote was originally intended to describe the art itself it also speaks upon the value this society places not only its things, but its people. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, Kintsugi is the ancient Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with a mixture of lacquer dust mixed with gold silver or platinum. This art form re stores not only the usefulness of the objects but its aesthetic value. The artist uses precious metals to repair the breakage and in doing so they are in essence, proclaiming flaw as an event in the life of the object, something to be beautified and embraced. The object does not cease being useful when something unfortunate happens to it but rather quite the opposite, the object is lovingly restored. The bowl’s cracks and breaks are not viewed as imperfections, but are embraced as part of the history of the object.
In our society when something is broken our instinct is to either fix it so that the crack or break cannot be easily seen in order to proclaim the article “As good as new” or, just simply throw it away replacing it with something bigger and better. Unfortunately we do this with people as well, in particular with those who suffer from alcoholism and addiction. The folly of many people in recovery is the belief that once they go through their treatment and attend their programs they can return to the person they once were and pick up where they left off, in fact our society encourages this thinking. This is not possible for anyone, life is about change and we can never be as we once were recovering addict or not. Perhaps if we as a society acknowledged and celebrated our cracks and breaks however big, we would never feel the need to throw anything (or one) away.
Please remember if you or anyone you know would like more information on The Oasis Addiction and Recovery Society please contact www.oasismovement.org. Or if you would like to host your own clothing drive in support of the Society contact www.oasisclothingbank.ca.