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Kintsugi Men

This week, it will be two weeks since my father has passed. He was 92 and he had an amazing journey of transformation that continues even now in my life

In the delicate art of Kintsugi, broken pottery is not discarded but rather mended with gold, creating a new masterpiece that celebrates its history of breakage and repair. This philosophy extends far beyond ceramics, it is a metaphor for life, especially the lives of the men who have shaped our own.

Our sons, grandfathers, fathers, uncles, and brothers, carry the scars, like us of their experiences, much like the golden seams of Kintsugi. They remind us that brokenness is not the end; it is merely a part of a larger journey of growth and rebirth.

Many of our fathers and grandfathers were at war, like my father in Korea, with stories that are etched into the very core of their being. These tales of survival and resilience are their golden repairs, making them more unique and valuable.

Lincoln Bauman, my father raised in an Old-Order Mennonite family, a life of simplicity and tradition. Imagine him, a father of eight children, embarking on his own chrysalis journey, transforming through the roles of son, husband, and father.

Leaving home can mean facing ostracization, as it did for dad, when he was a young man. When he returned from Korea, was shunned by his community as they were not to carry arms. But like a true Kintsugi masterpiece, he did not let this break him. Instead, he started anew, marrying, becoming a truck driver, and embracing the many transformations life offered. Later to reunite with his loving family.

Our Kintsugi brothers teach us that every crack and fissure is a celebration to survival, a badge of honour that speaks of battles fought and won. Their lives, pieced together with the gold of courage and wisdom, stand as a celebration of our kaleidoscope of life.

Remember and honour the Kintsugi relationships in our lives, the men who have been broken and fragmented but emerged stronger, their lives a mosaic of golden triumphs.

I remember the men in my life, my grandfathers, father, uncles and brothers who have journeyed through life’s myriad challenges, their stories a rich tapestry of life’s golden repairs. May we all find the strength to see the beauty in our breaks and the courage to mend them with gold.

In the tapestry of our shared journey, we recognize the transformative journey of men who, like butterflies emerging from their chrysalis, have navigated the complexities of life’s metamorphosis. Many without the guidance of role models, they have charted their own course, propelled by an innate strength that mirrors the resilience of Kintsugi, the art of precious scars.

As we honour the generations before us, we acknowledge the profound shifts in societal roles and expectations. The path was not always clear, and the molds of the past did not always fit the contours of their evolving identities.

I extend our deepest gratitude to the Kintsugi men, who have pieced together the fragments of their experiences with golden seams of wisdom. Your strength and power are the silent testimonies of your journey. Your commitment and love are the golden lacquer that binds us, the Kintsugi women, into a more beautiful whole.

May you continue to find strength in your scars, power in your flaws, and honour in your stories. Thank you for being an integral part of our journey. In the mending, we find that we are bolder, braver, and Kintsugi.

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