There is a Japanese art form originating in the 15th century called kintsugi. It is the process of repairing broken ceramics by mending them with a clear lacquer resin that is mixed with gold powder (or other powdered metals). In filling these cracks, these broken aspects of the pot or the jar, the cup or the bowl, transformation occurs. We see beauty and a new kind of wholeness that draws us to it. Some of the once-called damaged pieces fetch higher prices than their so-called flawless counterparts.
I think there is wisdom that has wider application. It is certainly my experience with humans: those with cracks and fissures, wrinkles and blemishes, are far more interesting than sheer perfection.
I have wondered how this might apply to us as a land, as a nation, as a society. These past few years have revealed so many cracks in our political, cultural, legal, social landscape. Is it possible to fill them with something that mends, rather than strengthens the divide? Is it possible that we will come of out of this even more beautiful?
I write this just a few weeks before our nation goes to the polls. You will likely read it a week before Election Day or perhaps right around then. I hope each of you who is able to will exercise your right to vote will do so. Over the decades, many have made deep sacrifices of heart and body for this right. May our fifth Unitarian Universalist principle – “the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large” – be your guide.
And for those of you who are not eligible to vote, I hope that we as a nation will vote in ways that recognizes and honors you as a part of our national woven fabric, beautiful and stronger for your presence among us.
I am blessed to be on this journey with you,