You are perfectly imperfect!
A few years ago I did a 40-day challenge on Instagram during the season of Lent. It helped me build confidence in putting my artwork out into the world. It also helped me share my perspective on life.
Think positive and keep it simple!!
Observing Lent looks different to each of us. Keep reading even if you are not Christian. Take time to reflect on these ideas as they help us recognize that “we are human”.
We might use this time to test our self-discipline (giving up chocolate?) or consider our shortcomings. I like to think of Lent as an opportunity to foster a deeper spiritual connection to ourselves and others.
This year I’m going to repeat my 40 days of art+sentiments challenge on Instagram.
Recently, I have been interested in an ancient art form called Kintsugi and a Japanese philosophy called Wabi Sabi.
What Are Wabi Sabi & Kintsugi?
KINTSUGI: noun - a traditional Japanese pottery repair technique in which lacquer mixed with precious metals, especially gold, is used to fill cracks and replace missing pieces. (16th century)
WABI SABI: adjective - Relating to or designating a Japanese aesthetic or worldview characterized by finding beauty in imperfection, impermanence, or simplicity. Also: designating a style, appearance, etc., reflecting this aesthetic. (15th century)
These beautiful forms of wisdom and art can teach us so much!
So how might I connect this with Lent? Lent is a time to recognize our imperfections and our broken world. Lent is also a time to be extra compassionate to ourselves and others. When we slow down the pace of our lives we start to ask ourselves what we need. What is important to us, and what is not working for us?
Lent can allow us time to reflect on our failings but also teach us how much we have overcome and made beautiful. Our brokenness cannot be reversed but it can be transformed.
Kintsugi artistically means “join with gold” — the Japanese art of repairing broken objects, often ceramic pottery or glass. Kintsugi wisdom entails appreciating things as they are here and now rather than striving for an ideal of perfection.
Wabi Sabi is an aesthetic described as “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete” — consider how seasons pass, family photographs fade, wrinkles appear… The philosophy of Wabi Sabi prizes maturity, depth, and wisdom which can only be gained by observation and reflection.
Lent is bittersweet. It is marked by elements of suffering and regret but what is gained is beautiful. Acceptance of our vulnerabilities is an element of the Wabi Sabi mindset. Embracing our flaws rather than trying to disguise them is part of the Kintsugi process.
Perfection is impossible. True perfection is recognizing our true imperfections. Let’s collaborate in making life beautiful.
*A little note about the art...it was not intentional but a happy accident when I was messing around in the studio. Several pieces of art were bound for the recycle bin. I decided to rip them up and layer them...I love the rolling cloud bank above the darkened landscape below. And what could be more reminiscent of Kintsugi style than a hopeful golden strip of sunshine emerging in the distance?
Titled: Nature Influences the Rhythms and Rituals of Life
(Gold Burnished Frame; 6 x 8" overall dimensions)