I was listening to CBC radio Q this morning as guest host, Allan Hawco interviewed Death Cab for Cutie. I have always enjoyed their music, but have not recognized them as a band that I connect with… that is, until now.
The show started off with their single Black sun from their new album Kintsugi. A haunting, insightful song with the line “There is grace within forgiveness but its so hard for me to find“. Honest, deep, and spiritual all wrapped up in one line. Yeah, so at that point I’m hooked. Then the interview starts and the bassist Nick Harmer describes what the name of the album means. “Kintsugi is a Japanese word describing a technique of repairing broken ceramics…a very old technique that uses resin infused with gold,” he explains, “…they use that to bond the broken piece back together into it’s original, or as close to it’s original form as it was in.” He goes on to explain how, philosophically, this resonates with him as a way to highlight the fractures in an object that has been repaired and making those breaks a part of the objects history. For the band this is so appropriate as they are going through a transition as they lose a founding member and band mate, Chris Walla, and for lead singer Ben Gibbard who is going through a divorce.
After doing more research on Kintsugi, I found that the Japanese believe that when something has been damaged it becomes more beautiful. For me, personally, this is an incredible idea. I find that I sometimes try to hide my ‘fractures’ because I feel like no one else needs to see that. I always want to put on a happy face. This philosophy is helping me to see the beauty in the good, the bad and the ugly. This blog has been an important step forward for me in realizing that displaying those beautiful scars is helping to make them part of my whole. We should be at peace with those things that have broken us because they have been a part of what made us who we are today and, as a testament to our strength, we are still here.
I also have to add that it is so appropriate that I am reading the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed right now. Cheryl hiked the Pacific Crest Trail to repair her brokenness when she lost her Mother to cancer. Her book is so honest and the damage is so apparent on every page at the beginning of the book. I saw her interview with George Stroumboulopoulos after her book came out and I saw a woman who is whole and beautiful; her ‘gold resin’ shining through.
Sometimes it takes being broken and then repaired to see how whole we really are. Be kind to yourself and others and remember Kintsugi. Your history makes you beautiful
Now, I’m going to listen to more Death Cab for Cutie!
With much Love and Kindness,