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Cracked Pots

My daughter Jean called the other day and said, "Mom, I have a metaphor for you." Instantly, my writer's heart was stirred because Jean doesn't mess around when it comes to a metaphor. She and her husband had just been to an exhibition of Japanese ceramics in D.C. where she learned of the "golden seams," a special method created by Japanese craftsmen to mend cracked ceramics. Instead of trying to match the color of the pot to make the crack less visible, they decided to flaunt the flaw by repairing it with lacquer mixed with powdered gold. The result is wonderful, as the golden repaired cracks make the piece seem more unique and valuable.

I began to think of the places in my life where I felt cracked and broken; places I just wanted filled in so no one could see there had been an injury. And yet, what I've learned from dealing with those cracks, injuries, disappointments, setbacks, and times of grief and discouragement is far more than I've ever learned from any time of ease.

I guess without my knowing it, they'd been sealed tighter and stronger with a bit of gold. And gold doesn't just show up, it has to be discovered, then mined, then melted by a torch in a place so hot it's called the crucible — that's what filters out the impurities. Then there's more time in the heat, a cooling off, and, finally, a hardening. 

May we look at our cracked pots with new eyes, celebrate the golden seams, and be colossally grateful. 

6 responses to “Cracked Pots

  1. Joan,
    This image is so visual. We Americans generally think of a cracked pot as a useless piece of trash. By a change in perspective and vision the pot flaunts its crack and thereby becomes a work of art. Amazing change in perspective.

  2. Hi Joan,
    Just happened upon your blog and wanted to say that Hope Was Here and Rules of the Road are two of my favorite books for young girls. I liked Squashed too.
    Hope is really one I like to reread.

  3. Thanks for this, I appreciate the image. I’m a first year teacher and am excited to introduce your books to my 7th graders. I enjoyed your work so much at their age (and now too)!

  4. Joan…i just “chaned” upon this story while looking for images of craked pots to put as my profile picture as i believe that this is truly a repreentation of me at this point in my life….your story above touched me deeply and encouraged me…God bless you abundantly, Joan!

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