A year ago I reconnected with someone from my distant (childhood) past. She posted about having a word for the year and trying to use it to better herself, to use it as an inspiration for the coming year. The word was kintsugi. A Japanese technique of repairing broken pottery using a gold lacquer in such a way as to not hide the cracks but to emphasize them; the pottery becomes more a work of art due to its scars. As applied to ourselves, the word is a metaphor for the repairing of broken lives and fixing the cracks we live with. Her post resonated with me and I replied very candidly and honestly. So began a yearlong relationship discussing personal and private things openly and without reservation. I am reminded of the closeness and intimate sharing in a relationship that sadly, I was missing. It has benefited me and, I can only hope, herself as well. I had a phone case made to remind me daily of the concept and, hopefully, help me in repairing some broken pieces in my life. The screensaver is, of course, Grace.
Grace is a 15 year old singer who won America’s Got Talent 2 years ago and was a big part of my year. I saw her audition show when I watched a ‘reaction’ type video a little over a year ago. I’ve followed her career and her first set of concerts in support of her EP released as part of the AGT deal. Then 40 shows opening for Imagine Dragons all summer. I don’t think I’ve followed a performer like this since The Beatles. Her poise, wisdom, and presence is as baffling as her lyrics are startling and sometimes profound. Her voice can be sweet and raspy at the same time and provoke an emotional response that I certainly didn’t expect. From what I read from other people online, I am not alone. And yes, I understand how this all could be perceived as inappropriate. I thought about this and concluded that as a parent, if I had a daughter, Grace would be my ideal. If I had a sister, again, no one would be more perfect than she is. And if I was a 15 year old boy I don’t think there would be a girl more perfect than Grace. It is taking all these feelings together and the way her voice pierces my emotions that made me a fan. I know how creepy it all may sound – I know it wasn’t – but it was a fun year and it is time to move on.
As the year closes I am taking stock of some of the things that stand out and gave me pause. A quote from the Dalai Lama who said the more we focus on ourselves the less happy we are able to become. Sori’s secrets shirt that says maybe its your secrets that are making you sick. The way the universe or god or spirit or whatever it is uses coincidence to emphasize and nudge us one way or the other. If we will listen. It’s what got me to watch the show Joan of Arcadia from beginning to still watching season 2 as of now. What if God was one of us? Most episodes do conclude with some type of revelatory message. One where Joan sees the far reaching effects of her actions, like ripples on a pond. Large and small, intended and unexpected as well. I have seen in my own family the ripples that actions can cause. They can affect others in ways we would never anticipate.
So for the coming year I will have a new word to remind me of this and guide me. Ripples. I will be mindful of not focusing on my needs as much, trying to be more helping and understanding of others and being aware that what I do or don’t do has consequences and does affect others. The word ripples will remind me of this
Guess I need a new phone case.