Broken | #WordlessWednesday

Our brokenness often bears an untold story.

Rundown houses—a sculpture that revolves around memory and loss, evoked in the demolition of old structures. Artwork by Charmi Shah. Displayed in Mumbai’s Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport.

This sculpture reminds me of the inherently beautiful Japanese philosophy of Wabi Sabi—of finding beauty in imperfection and embracing decay and death; of celebrating the many cracks and crevices and every other mark that time brings upon us, and how, as transient beings, we must all eventually return to dust from whence we came! Profoundly sad and yet beautiful, I think!

In my view, brokenness may not always mean one ends up bitter. Who knows it might throw up an opportunity for us to reassess our position or situation and use that knowledge to start all over again? Haven’t we all being there—broken, shattered, and lost? And then, being the resilient beings that we are, picked up the pieces of our lives, dusted off the hurt and moved on with renewed hope?

Never an easy choice, I know, but then, not impossible either! It’s all a matter of perspective, right?

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44 thoughts

  1. I wish that we were not so out of touch with nature that we insisted on burial by cremation or being sealed inside a concrete vault. I like the idea that death and decay bring forth new life. It’s evident in my compost bin and garden, for sure. We are all just a small blink in time, we all play our part in the circle of life. I like to think a part of us just changes form and lives on.

  2. Amazing picture. That is an interesting thought to ponder on. Like you rightly said, often we emerge stronger or find another opportunity after being broken. It isn’t easy, but yes we can do it.

    1. Thank you for the kind words, Veronica!

      And that bit about being broken and becoming whole again, that sounds like my story. Been there and learnt my bit. And ever so grateful for that.

  3. What a profound thought, Esha! Underneath aren’t we all broken, some project it as their asset, some sail through hiding it better.
    That’s a beautiful click and it invokes a myriad emotions in the onlooker.

  4. Dearest Esha,

    Sometimes it’s good to accept the brokenness…isn’t it, but most often than not we try to fight it out. At least I do. It is important to sometimes be one with the brokenness, and tread the onward journey to healing.

    I’m so intrigued by the Wabi Sabi philospsohy. Did you manage to read the book? Which one did you read. Apparently the Ikigai author, Fransesc Miralles has one too, which I can’t seem to find online. If you do, let me know.

    Much love and hugs always

    1. Thanks for the lovely comment, Natasha!
      A few years back, I read an article that spoke of the Japanese concept of Kintsugi. While reading up on that, I came across Wabi Sabi. Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted with powdered gold, silver or even platinum, in some cases.
      Not read the book but will definitely let you know if I come across the one you mentioned.

      Have an awesome week ahead, Natasha. Much love and hugs to you too!
      <3

      1. Kintsugi is an old favourite 😊
        Have heard of Kaizan? Recently gifted Arusha that book. Looks intriguing but my TBR is long and that will have to wait for a bit.

        Big love and big hugs✨have a peaceful and productive week♥️

      2. Kintsugi is so beautiful, right? Glad you gifted that book to Arusha. I came across Kaizen, (if that’s the word you meant) as part of my MBA case-studies reflecting the business practices of continuous improvement, that is core to their functioning style in all spheres of activity. Had the good fortune to experience this first-hand as well and my respect for them grew ten-fold. That book is definitely worth a read, I tell you.

  5. Esha,

    Indeed, we’ve all been broken to various degrees. Hopefully to each one, growth and appreciation are two things we take away from those experiences. Often we do not know how good we have it until something is taken from us. Happy WW!

    1. True, Alana! It is all a matter of perspective, right! A lot of our brokenness leads us on to positive changes and outlooks that can pave the path for a better way of life. Much like what you said about regeneration post-war!

  6. This sculpture made me sad, just like the houses on Symi Island. Please have a look in my post. Some of them were deserted a long time ago…
    Thank you for hosting.

    1. Yes, the sculpture does make one ponder and it also evokes feelings of sadness and loss—an urban reality for many of the poor people in this world who cannot afford a decent home or shelter! Glad to see you stop by and share your thoughts here.

      Let me hop over to your blog and read your post right away, Klara.

  7. I red recently a small book about Wabi-Sabi. a new concept for me. But amazing. The book was written by Leonard Koren and translated in Romanian. I liked the idea written on the cover that, Wabi-Sabi is the beauty of imperfection of things. You are write. Everything is related to our perspective!
    Thank you for sharing the artwork of Charmi Shah. I think it is a good example.
    Happy WW!

    1. Wabi-Sabi also focuses on the brokenness of things—based on a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. And you are spot on, it is totally related to our perspective, Suzana. We could rue the fact that something is broken or we could sue that brokenness to heighten the beauty of impermanence and embrace the imperfection. Whatever works for us is good!
      Thank you for stopping by to share your thoughts, here. Happy #ww.

  8. Well, if it’s people, I agree with this philosophy. We all carry the traces left by fate … We accept ourselves and others and move on.
    If it comes to things, though … Degraded, cracked, chipped, things must be thrown away. All Eastern philosophy says that.

    Happy WW, Esha!

    1. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Zina! Yes, we are all chipped on the inside. I agree a lot of our Eastern philosophy talks of discarding broken objects, But, interestingly, the Japanese art of Kintsugi encourages us to the see potential for beauty in reconstructing the broken pieces, by putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold — built on the idea that in embracing flaws and imperfections, we can create an even stronger, more beautiful piece of art. Every break is unique and instead of repairing an item like new, the 400-year-old technique actually highlights the “scars” as a part of the design. Great way to heal ourselves, right?

  9. Wow, that picture speaks volumes. I’m just disturbed looking at it. In some way, maybe we all are broken and even if glue back ourselves together, we may never be the same.

    1. It does make one think for sure, so I totally understand why you feel so strongly about that sculpture, Soumya! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts here. Happy #WW!

    1. Yes, I know that feeling! I guess providing homes to slum dwellers at affordable costs is still a distant reality and even though it has been happening in some areas in Bangalore, a lot more needs to be done. Simply razing down the slums is definitely not the answer.
      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts here, Corinne!

  10. We must accept and learn to make peace with our broken pieces and move on. Every start has an end and that’s an eternal truth.

    Thought provoking post Esha! Happy Wednesday!

    1. Glad to know we think alike on this, Jeanna! Yes, street photography is fascinating. I’d love to do that some day.

  11. Yes, brokenness does lead to a new us. But it takes time to adopt this mindset.It takes a lot of effort, too, to realise that it’s our brokenness that could hold within itself a new, better version of US. 🙂

    1. So well said, Shilpa. That is what life teaches us the hard way. So glad to see you share your thoughts here

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