by Cynthia Wands
Lately I’ve been breaking things.
I dropped a favorite water glass and it smashed to bits. I also had a hummingbird feeder fall apart when I was trying to feed the charm of hummingbirds that vacation on our deck. And then I snapped the handle off the bathroom sink. Literally I snapped it off with my bare hands.
That was a surprise – I didn’t know I had that much raw strength in my hands. Or that I had that kind of ongoing angst that I can break things apart with such ease.
Actually it’s an old sink. An old faucet. I don’t really have that much strength. Or so I tell myself.
But I have a Yankee kind of “don’t throw it out it can be fixed” mentality. And I have a far fetched idea of Kintsugi, based on images I’ve seen online.
(Kintsugi is the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold — built on the idea that in embracing flaws and imperfections, you can create an even stronger, more beautiful piece of art.)
See. I can’t do this. My attempts at repairing things in my life, in my mind, in my garage, don’t look anything like this. Instead, I have a lot of broken pieces of things, that I think I can fix, and they are waiting for that idea to actually happen. So I hate breaking things.
I think sometimes that’s why I’m anxious about rewrites to my scripts, and attempts at “fixing” my artwork. I don’t have this “embracing flaws” practice. It’s more a dodge ball game of what can I hide that I don’t like, or I’m uncertain about.
Recently, my 34 year old Kitchen Aid mixer died.
This was given to me as a gift when a friend saw me struggling to make twelve cakes for a big party. He couldn’t stand watching me do battle with a tiny hand mixer to put together all the cakes and buttercream. I’ve treasured this machine for 34 years and, for some reason, I thought it would outlive me.
But recently I was baking some sample cakes for a friend’s upcoming wedding (small cakes) and it broke. The engine died. Attempts to have it repaired were not successful, and I was having a meltdown about this. My husband, bless him, ordered me a replacement, (even though I was struggling with the purchase price and the money issue, he went ahead and did it anyway.) Bless him.
So, broken things. I’m about to jump into rewrites for a script that has wrestled me into a corner. I’ll see if I can find those ribbons of gold to patch things together.
And here’s the new Kitchen Aid mixer. It’s different than my beloved workhorse mixer. The bowl is different, the power of the motor is different. But I’m adjusting to the idea that I can have new things.
And the plumber is coming on Friday to replace the faucet. Another new thing in the house. I’ll try not to snap the handle off on this one.