There’s a great article over at 3quarksdaily about kintsugi (金継ぎ) and the idea of having a heart to take good care of things (物を大切にする心) . Kintsugi is “the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver laquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.” (read the article here)
When I think about the issues facing our modern world, or to get closer to home, facing our city and our neighbourhoods, a cultural gift like kintsuki seems like the kind of thing we can all learn from. What if, as I walk through my city, I were to see it through a kintsugi lens? Could I see Oppenheimer Park through a kintsugi lens? What would that mean? How would it affect my everyday actions?
To the extent that technology strips away the need for skill, it strips away the possibility for meaning as well. To have a skill is to know what counts or is worthwhile in a certain domain. Skills reveal meaningful differences to us and cultivate in us a sense of responsibility to bring these out at their best. To the extent that it takes away the need for skill, technology flattens out human life. ~Hubert Dreyfus
What if skill, as the Dreyfus quote above asserts, meant something? What would it mean to live skillfully in the city, having developed a heart to take good care of things?
Have a read, what do you think?