Kintsugi

Kintsugi

Written By: Dana Forbes, PSIA-AASI RM CEO

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold — built on the idea that in embracing flaws and imperfections, you can create an even stronger, more beautiful piece of art. For the Japanese, it’s part of a broader philosophy of embracing the beauty of human flaws.

It is the Spring of 2022, 3 years after COVID became a household name. I have heard from many that the last 3 years were some of the hardest; mentally, physically, spiritually, and financially. These challenges however changed us. Most of us have evolved in many ways. We have changed our priorities, and for the most part, this is good. But we all are a little broken from it too.

While we welcomed the 2021-22 ski season, excited and ready to do the things we loved, many resorts were faced with a shortage of staff, placing a high demand for our teaching. By March some of you were crispy, like burnt bacon or even worse, injured. Because of this, I was worried that our events would have lower attendance, especially assessments, because you would not be able to get the time off to train. I was wrong. Having just come off our Spring assessment season, you rallied, you trained, and you showed up and took on the challenge. For those of us on the other side, assessing your preparedness is equally challenging. We want more than anything for you to feel successful even if hardware does not accompany that success.

Most of you reading this had their 3rd challenging winter but what I love most about this community is your amazing attitude to respond to all of the above challenges presented to us over the last three years, with a smile on your face saying “I can’t wait for next season.”

So, if you are reading this and you were that crispy bacon, or broken pottery, or perhaps one that left with no certificate, think about Kintsugi. Kintsugi fosters the idea that a broken object can be repaired and be made useful once again. It tells us we can always begin anew despite the past challenges. Accepting imperfections will help us to break free from the obsession of perfectionism. Kintsugi teaches you that your broken places make you stronger and better than ever before. When you think you are broken, you can pick up the pieces, put them back together, and learn to embrace the cracks.

I have many scars, both inside and out, that for so long I hated. My nickname as a kid was literally Scarface. But scars show a life lived. Injuries show a life lived. Being so tired after a day on the mountain teaching that group of 8 unruly kids, shows a life lived. Take a minute and look at some Kintsugi pieces. With lacquer and gold, the object’s scars come to life. They become an ode to the passing of time, to imperfection. We don’t need to be perfect at any of the above, we just must live it and embrace the imperfections that make us better than before. I look forward to seeing you all next season encompassing all the challenges that has made you who you are.

 

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