“Kintsugi”

“In Japan there is a kind of reverence for the art of mending. In the context of the tea ceremony there is no such thing as failure or success in the way we are accustomed to using those words. A broken bowl would be valued precisely because of the exquisite nature of how it was repaired, a distinctly Japanese tradition of kintsugi, meaning to “to patch with gold”. Often, we try to repair broken things in such a way as to conceal the repair and make it “good as new.” But the tea masters understood that by repairing the broken bowl with the distinct beauty of radiant gold, they could create an alternative to “good as new” and instead employ a “better than new” aesthetic. They understood that a conspicuous, artful repair actually adds value. Because after mending, the bowl’s unique fault lines were transformed into little rivers of gold that post repair were even more special because the bowl could then resemble nothing but itself. Here lies that radical physical transformation from useless to priceless, from failure to success. All of the fumbling and awkward moments you will go through, all of the failed attempts, all of the near misses, all of the spontaneous curiosity will eventually start to steer you in exactly the right direction.”
-Teresita Fernández, sculptor
quoted by Maria Popova in Brain Pickings

Pilgrimage

“To set on a pilgrimage is to throw down a challenge to everyday life…The naked glitter of a sacred mountain stirs the imagination; the adventure of self conquest has begun…. pilgrimage is always an inward journey— …You needn’t don a hairshirt for obstacles enough will erupt. But by attending to them now—openness, attentiveness, and responsiveness are the essence of pilgrimage—you will be able to surmount them by yielding to them in the way that life always requires that we yield to it.

Dawn is breaking. It’s time to head out.”

by Huston Smith, from his Foreword to the Art of Pilgrimage by Phil Cousineau

the detail is divine

“Sit there and describe. And because the detail is divine, if you caress it into life, the world lost or ignored, the world ruined or devalued, comes to life. The little world you alone can bring into being, bit by broken bit, angles into the great world. It’s voice, your style. Or, call it what it is—your integrity.”
~ Patricia Hampl, The Art of the Wasted Day

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note: I’m currently reading The Art of the Wasted Day by Patricia Hampl. I just finished re-reading the Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes.

the secret that we are afraid to grasp

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“The truth — that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way — an honorable way — in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment. For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words, “‘The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory’.”

-Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

 

a bridge

“I thought about that man for the rest of my trip. I thought about him for the rest of my life. He’d been generous, yes, but lots of people are generous; what made him different was the fact that he’d taken responsibility for me. He’d spotted me from town and walked half a mile out a highway to make sure I was okay. Robert Frost famously wrote that home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in. The word “tribe” is far harder to define, but a start might be the people you feel compelled to share the last of your food with. For reasons I’ll never know, the man in Gillette decided to treat me like a member of his tribe.”
-Sebastian Junger, Tribe, On Homecoming and Belonging

note: The community is divided. Our country is divided. We need a bridge, a bridge of empathy,understanding, and solidarity to connect the divisions.

I finished reading Tribe by Sebastian Junger.