Kintsugi: learn about transforming hardship into something golden

Pain is inevitable says Celine Santini, the author, blogger and personal-development coach who has herself been transformed by personal tragedy, audiences heard at the Sharjah International Book Fair 2019 last night.

When explaining the story behind the origins of Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken china and sealing the cracks with gold, she pointed out that it symbolically and spiritually reflected human suffering and repair. Showing stunning imagery of delicate China with blazing trails of gold cut through them at ragged angles, Celine highlighted the five stages of Kintsugi and how they represented human suffering.

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“First, you must decide that your broken crockery is worth fixing, that is step one,” she says. “As it is with us, we must decide to survive and fix ourselves following personal loss or tragedy. Second, you assemble, you bring all your broken parts together and if there are gaps, you fill them with another piece of pottery, or in ourselves by bringing other people or experiences into our lives.”

Moving on, Celine explains the third step is to wait. “You give yourself time to heal, just as the glue on your pottery needs time to become solid. The fourth step is the colour red. This is sticky lacquer used on the cracks to ensure the gold sticks to them and represents the soreness of our wounds, literal or metaphorical, before they are covered in gold. And fifth, sprinkle gold on to the red lacquer to transform it. Finally, step six is to polish and shine your gold, so it glows as do you through this process.”

Celine found Kintsugi after facing personal struggles following two divorces and being left with very young children to look after alone. Soon after she lost her mother to suicide and found herself feeling incredibly alone and searching for answers.

“Then I found a magazine article called, How to have a good divorce and it mentioned Kintsugi without explaining exactly what it was. I tried to research it and couldn’t find any books. So, then I decided to write the book I needed to read.” Ultimately, she says, it is about transforming your lead into gold and finding strength in your imperfections.

Celine’s book on the subject, Kintsugi: Finding Strength in Imperfection that comes with exercises, anecdotes and practical advice is available from Sharjah International Book Fair taking place at Sharjah Expo Centre until 9 November.

The fair is featuring over 2,000 publishers from 81 countries under Sharjah World Book Capital’s (SWBC) theme of ‘Open Books… Open Minds”.

Compiled by Roshna K.

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