Kintsugi is the first “foreign” word I’ve written to, but it was so beautiful, I had to. Kintsugi is about understanding that broken things can be beautiful. That you can rebuild fragmented things to be more breath-taking than they were before they shattered. I highly recommend looking some pictures of it up. It is absolutely stunning. Anyways, I hope you enjoy! Thank you.
The Chinks of the Heart
Kintsugi (n): the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold or silver lacquer, making it more beautiful than before.
The moment a wave receded, it was immediately overwhelmed and drowned by the next one.
How tragic that small little truth seemed.
Tori heard a sudden joyful shriek and wondered who else could be on the beach this early.
Little feet pattered like raindrops on the sidewalk.
“Mama! Mama, look!” the little girl yelled.
Tori couldn’t pretend she didn’t feel the chinks in her heart ache.
“I’m coming, I’m coming, Lu.”
A woman, presumably the mother, walked past in a long, floral sundress. She set down a pail full of little shovels and molds, the tools used to play with sodden sand.
“What is it you want to show me, doodle?”
“Look at this rock!”
“Luce, that’s broken glass. Now put it down before you get cut.”
The pair continued to interact with each other, and Tori closed her eyes and simply decided to let herself feel.
What if she had allowed herself to have this again? What if she hadn’t left Jin? What if they had decided to try again? Restart like it had never happened?
Tori stopped herself.
There was no point to this.
She looked down at her wrinkled hands and wondered just where all the years had gone.
Her future was so different than the one she had seen sitting here on this same beach 24 years ago when she had gotten married, and she and Jin had traced their initials together on the slippery, wet sand over and over, even as it was erased by the waves.
Different than the one she had envisioned 15 years ago, when she and her daughter had sat together, their toes buried in the creamy, sun-warmed sand, collecting seashells and heart-shaped rocks marooned on the backs of the receding tides.
Different than the one she had imagined 8 years ago when she had first felt the hot, pressed, desperate need for escape. When she had run into the ocean screaming and crying like a madwoman, censuring the gods for taking everything. Rebuked and raged and reprimanded until she had sank into the freezing tides, wondering if she could drift away like flotsam on the swells.
Her parents had found her the next morning, half-buried in the sand, crusty with saltwater, and had brought her home.
Now, well she couldn’t pretend she knew the future anymore.
But she wanted to find out.
Tori stood up, leaving the broken stone wall she had been sitting on. The pale yellow wildflowers growing through the cracks wobbled in the wind.
But they had sturdy roots.
Tori wasn’t whole anymore. She was made up of fissures and cracks and wounds and bruises. She was a shattered being held together by a combination of bits of glue, leftover string, and some other unknown force.
But the metal forged with the most fractures was the strongest. And muscles had to tear before they could build up stronger than before.
Tori was going to mend the chinks in her heart.
Tori was going to find Jin.