Today, Vica and I celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary — the porcelain wedding. When you’re 18, you believe in love, you know. As you reach 50 (and your wife, sure, is always 25), you believe in patience and experience. That’s why kintsugi has become the symbol of our porcelain anniversary.
Kintsugi is a Japanese technique of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold. Shards are reassembled, and plates and dishes that would normally have been thrown away are beginning to be appreciated more than ever, as kintsugi turns imperfections into values and contributes to their beauty.
This was the symbol we used at our porcelain wedding. At the entrance, guests would smash dishes for good luck and give us presents.
Some particularly close friends from our sauna club decided to surprise us and gave us a vase. A beautiful Japanese vase from the Jin era, which we gladly accepted.
But “out of the blue” the vase cracked and we found ourselves with a pile of shards in our hands. And then our friends challenged us — are we really capable of mending broken dishes and relationships to make them more beautiful, or are we just good at blabbing about it?
Challenge accepted! And so, a few days later, the whole family sat together unpacking a kintsugi kit (thanks for the present). After figuring out the hows and whys, we ventured into a Japanese party with golden glue and shards of an antique vase.
And two hours later, a new decorative object was there — a kintsugi vase made with our own hands.
This vase will remind us that cracks can appear in any marriage and that they deepen every time. Each one may be the last, after which the dish breaks in two.
But if you carefully glue and decorate each crack with gold as a symbol of learning from mistakes — forgiveness, understanding, and giving are priceless. And then your marriage, traversed by a network of golden cracks, will soon become stronger, more precious and more noble.
Take care of each other, argue, reconcile, fill the cracks with gold, create your masterpiece and be happy!
Yours, the Voloshins.