Friday, 12 September 2014

The Beauty of Brokenness

From Wikipedia:
Kintsugi (金継ぎ) (Japanese: golden joinery) or Kintsukuroi (金繕い(Japanese: golden repair) is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with lacquer resin dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum.

The philosophy behind this is the understanding that the piece is the better for having been broken, that when something has suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.

I'd like to continue my analogy of a broken plate for another post about friendship, this time on a much more positive note. Whilst it's true that I have not found the support I had hoped for from some, the upside is I have found plenty of support in the most beautiful and often unexpected ways. For starters, existing relationships with my close family and friends have been strengthened. I feel closer now to those who have stuck by me than I ever have before. Also, I am more happy in myself than I have ever been. My self-confidence is finally blossoming for what feels like the first time in my life, because when you have nothing to lose you might as well go for it! I have also made many new, inspiring friends through the ME community on Twitter. In a matter of a few months, they have become an integral part of my life. We communicate daily, make each other laugh out loud many times a day and help each other through the ups and downs of spoonie life. It is strange in a way, to feel so close to people I have never met in real life, but the amount of love and generosity I have encountered from my virtual friends has left me speechless on many an occasion. I wish I could list each and every one of you by name but I know with brain fog (a common symptom of chronic illness) I am bound to forget a few.

So to those friends, old or new, real or virtual, to everyone who tweets me or posts on my Instagram or my Facebook, thank you for being there when I need you most. To Ray Butterlumps, Team Princess and my Spoonie Sisters, thank you for using your precious energy to make me presents and send me surprise post to make me smile. To SuperRoy Record Hunter, my fellow Spoonie vinyl junkie, thank you for traipsing around Birmingham on Record Store Day on my behalf. I know you were going anyway but only those of us with chronic illness can imagine the after effects of negotiating buses, queuing for an hour,  not to mention hiking round a city centre. 

It's not just ME tweeps either - the Healthies have rivalled my Spoonie friends for amazingness and sheer insanity at times! There's Barry the Phelps Finder who collared the Weasley Twins at a celebrity cricket match and got them to sign a birthday card for me. There are my dearest friends who send me love and sleep-masks, or stay up late spray-painting wheelchairs purple then drive from Worcester to Bath the next day for surprise delivery. I have learned from you that extreme fangirling and surprise visits are not so good for my health but they do make my heart swell several sizes. Thanks too to old friends who cheer me on even though I haven't seen them for over a decade. To those of you in real life who are brave enough to 'visit the cripple', especially those bringing flowers and Gluten Free cake, I am eternally grateful, as I am to my wonderful husband and family. To each and every one of you, I thank you all for putting me back together again. 

You are my Kintsukuroi - my golden repair.

Kintsukuroi (The Beauty of Brokenness)

You watch me fragment 
As I hit the bottom.
Shard-sharp spikes
Shattering against hard rock.
You do not judge.
You do not waiver.
You do not tell me what to do,
Or how to be.
Silently stooping to pick up pieces,
You cradle me in your hands
As if I weigh nothing,
No burden at all - a breath of air.
Your love flows over me.
Molten gold covering the cracks,
Cementing the joins,
Smoothing over chips.
I am whole again,
More beautiful than I have ever been
Because of you,
You and your golden love.

© Charlotte Green