The Resilient Year

Note: This Resilient Wednesday is a modified version of the same end of year message from last December. Giving the current state of our lives, I felt this message is worthy so that we may recognize the enormous successes we’ve had this year and how we can move forward with our heads held high.

2021, a year that we hoped would be different from 2020, proved that we could still survive a year that was so damaging, and which must hold some meaning and understanding for us.

Can we find a way to mend the pains and difficulties of these past 2 years?

Interestingly, the Japanese may have an idea for how we can think about this broken year and what we can do about it. It is referred to as kintsukuroi (金継ぎ, “golden joinery). 

In practice thistranslates to the art form of repairing broken pottery with a special lacquer and powdered gold, that includes highlighting the broken part of the object. The value and beauty of this new piece of artwork comes from recognizing and honoring its travails and imperfections.

We’ll all have remembrances of the difficulties of 2022. The breakages that disrupted out lives, created pain and hurt, and challenged us in ways that we, perhaps, could not have recognized we have the capacity to address just a year ago. There have been many new learnings that may have helped salve the wounds, like a balm that soothes and heals a physical hurt.

We all understand the desire to just forget this year and move on, but unfortunately, the grief and loss process does not allow us to easily ignore a year like 2021.  Like the broken piece of kintsukuroi pottery that features the shattered part of the ceramic, so, perhaps, should we not run from this year but embrace it and let it teach us that once again about how our resilience wins out.

I wish you blessings for the New Year and hope that the dreams you imagine come true and that the unseen challenges you face get equally woven into the fabric of your year.

© Richard Citrin 2021

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