Reflection of 2015

“What’s the most important thing you’ve done this year?”

“Survived.”

5 years ago a very wise mentor and professor of mine talked with me about specific vocational callings during seasons of life. I was going through a season where I was called to just endure. That has been 2015 for me. We moved twice, my health failed me, our car was totaled by a drunk driver, and we encountered obstacle after obstacle in our professional and personal lives. It felt like every time we got past a road block, we were right back on our knees again. But you know what? We got through it even on the days when I felt like Job, cracked and dry and ready to fall to pieces. 

Isaiah 43:19 says, “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” So here’s to a new thing, a new season of calling. I survived, and I’m pieced together like wounds repaired and reinforced with gold. I choose to look at my year this way and am influenced by one of my favorite studies of art history (it was really just a blip in my huge text book but it’s stuck with me for years).

Kitsungi is the Japanese art of pottery repair. Rather than disguising the breakage, kintsugi restores the broken item incorporating the damage into the piece’s aesthetic. The damage and repair become part of its history… part of its narrative. Using resin and powdered gold (and sometimes platinum, silver, bronze and copper) they repair the broken vessel and transform it into something more beautiful than the original.

This year dried me up, and broke me. But instead of hiding from it and trying to cover it up, I’ve chosen vulnerability and restoration. My story and my life aren’t perfect, but it’s a beautiful narrative nonetheless.

10 thoughts on “Reflection of 2015

    • Ashley thank you! I feel like the last year was such a testament to the way trials and vulnerability helped build me into a better maker, painter, business owner, etc. Hopefully the gold will start showing through in 2016 ;)

  1. I just love the comparison of your year to Kitsungi (which I’ve never heard of, even after living in Japan for four years! So cool!) I am sending lots of love and light your way for 2016 – things can only go up!

    • Thank you for the kind words and well wishes! I don’t think that it’s practiced as much anymore, but if you look up images of it you’ll see how beautiful and symbolic it is! I’d love to visit Japan. Japanese prints and pottery influenced a lot of my painting when I was in art school.

  2. I’ve recently heard of this art of repairing pottery and absolutely fell in love with it! Here’s to hoping that this year is filled with gold flecked cracks toward healing and a joyful year!

    • You are so sweet! Thank you for the well wishes :) I often work with gold and silver in my paintings and I want to apply that same principle to my work. We’ll see how it goes!

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