Kinsukuroi does not the intend that the repair is what makes the object more beautiful: it is that the object was broken in the first place that contributes to the beauty of the object, the gold merely points to this fact, calls our attention to it.
This is a complicated notion to explain to people not familiar with Japanese Aesthetic thought: the breaking of a work, the fading of a work, a work ravaged by time demonstrates the inexorable passage of time, the connection to the reality of nature. Nature itself, the seasons, the weather, is never static, so art need not be static as well.
What Kintuskuroi does is call our attention to the transient nature of the world: it calls our attention to the fact that all of us are constantly changing, and there is beauty in that change. As a subset of the Wabi-Sabi aesthetic, part of the intention is to connect us to the reality of nature by emphasizing change.
In a more buddhist sense, or the sense appropriated by buddhist aestheticians, it intends to call out attention to the constantly changing nature of the world. This concept, mujou in the buddhist thinking, transforms the aesthetic object into an object of contemplation by pointing out the presence of the impermanent nature of all things within the real world.
So, by using this object, and it was intended to be used, we are reminded of the presence of the transience of all things, which should serve as a platform from which to contemplate our phenomenal existence. Further, Kintsukuroi demonstrates that we need not be attached to things in a state of perfection: this leads to suffering. Further, even when they are broken, they can be made more beautiful by the change.
Kinsukuroi simultaneously embodies traditional Japanese veneration of nature, and the Zen thought that emerged simultaneously with what we consider the “traditional” Japanese arts.
Anonymous asked: Hi! Just curious: What are your thoughts on teens who want to get their novels published, and have done their research and an extensive amount of editing? Thank you!
I wrote my first published novel when I was nineteen. It was the seventh novel I’d written. Of those seven, four were written while I was still in high school (or the summer right after I’d graduated). I know what it is like to be a teenager seriously pursuing publication!
Much of my advice for teens pursuing publication is similar to my advice for people of any age pursuing publication: keep writing and revising and getting better with each book; know that many writers do not sell their first book and that this is largely a persistence game; do what you can to defend the joy you take in writing; be professional and act professionally.
As for advice I have especially for teens—advice I might give Teenage Jen, if I could go back in time and talk to her—I would say:
Be extra kind to yourself, Teenage Jen, even though being kind to yourself isn’t necessarily something that being a teenager has prepared you to do. Writing and pursuing publication is not like anything else you’ve done. It is not like getting an A in school, or studying for an exam, or working to make first string on your sports team. It is not like any of those things AT ALL.
Acceptance and rejection are not solely about what you did “right” or “wrong.” And even once you sell your first book, Teenage Jen, even once you’re living your dream, it will often be hard. Because you will be *living* it, and the reality *is* hard, and selling a book is not the end of a journey, but the beginning. Be prepared, Teenage Jen, to essentially be running your own small business, because as a professional author, that is what you will be doing. There are so many things, Teenage Jen, that go along with being a published author, other than just the writing, and if you were to decide you were not ready for that yet, that would be okay. It would not make your writing mean any less.
Do not wish away the moments you have now, Teenage Jen. The nights when you are writing, the way it makes you feel, the joy you find in telling a story, how excited you get just to get a hand-written note on the bottom of a rejection letter. Enjoy being exactly where you are, Teenage Jen, because you will eventually come to the conclusion that NONE of this is about reaching some end-point or achieving some specific thing. There is no end-point! There is only the journey.
I have so much respect for teens pursuing publication. It is wonderful to work toward a dream! But I think it’s especially important for teen writers not to put too much pressure on themselves, and especially not to give themselves arbitrary deadlines. “I want to be published by the time I’m 16!” “I want to be published before I graduate college!” “I want to be the youngest person to X!”
Because honestly, guys, IT DOES NOT MATTER. You don’t get a prize for publishing young. If you are in this career for the long haul, if it is your dream to be an author, then it really doesn’t matter how old you are when you sell your first book. Because, if all goes well, there will eventually be a second book and a third. And you may find yourself reinventing your career many times over, and by and large, PEOPLE WILL NOT CARE how old you were when you published your first book. It will, in all likelihood, be pretty much irrelevant to your career as a whole. It is much more important for your first book to be the book best suited to launching your career than it is for it to be a book that you wrote when you were however-many years old.
The last piece of advice I have for teen writers is related to something that I am very grateful that Teenage Jen did (and that Teenage Jen largely has her parents to thank for, so THANKS, MOM AND DAD), and that is this: if you are pursuing publication as a teenager, that means that you will be entering an adult professional world at a young age. There can be tons of obligations that come along with that, and I am so grateful, looking back, that I made an active effort to not let writing (or publishing) stop me from having the experiences my same-age peers were having while I was starting my career.
I had a rule in college that I couldn’t write until everyone else had gone to bed. I didn’t *always* follow it, but the reason for the rule was that I did not want to miss out on other things—experiences that I could only have at that stage in my life—because I was shut in my room writing. I had to make an active effort to say yes when people asked me to do things, to get involved in activities, to explore majors, to DO THINGS that had nothing to do with writing. As an adult, there are many times when I have made sacrifices to write. I am very, very grateful that I didn’t let myself make those same kinds of sacrifices when I was in high school and college.
Useful advice for any young person pursuing publication while in school.
Because deep inside me lurks a medieval history geek.
“Then seek out and talk and blog and vlog and shout about the books and authors that The Damn Media is not talking about yet. Let me get you started with some suggestions: Kekla Magoon! Coe Booth! Alex Sánchez! Jason Reynolds! Mitali Perkins! Nikki Grimes! Malinda Lo! Cynthia Leitich Smith! Jaime Adoff! Octavia Butler! Eric Gansworth! Jacqueline Woodson! Sumbul Ali-Karamali! Rita Williams Garcia! Meg Medina! - See more at: http://lauriehalseanderson.tumblr.com/post/81603337333/my-take-on-john-green-ya-world-the-nytimes#sthash.Df2B1yjv.dpuf”
In the spirit of shout-outs: What Laurie says—which means I need to read some of these people, like Eric Gansworth, Jason Reynolds, and Meg Medina. I’m a huge fan of the rest of them and know some of them and they are fantastic people.
Read their books, talk them up. They deserve it!
The only thing that would make these secret room bookcases cooler is if you activate them by pulling out a special, secret book :)
When I was very young I decided I wanted to be a writer because I could work at home, tell stories all the time, and have a house with a secret passage. Still working on #3, but this post gives me some great ideas.
Secret passages, bookcases with books, what’s not to like? In my dream home, this would be the entrance to my workspace.