In today’s episode of Grace Among Us, Carri and Ebony explore the art of Kintsugi and it’s embodiment of Grace. This traditional japanese art of restoration holds many pointers to grace, life, and living gracefully and a beautiful reminder to embrace imperfection. Join us on the journey.
Here’s a glance at the episode
Thank you so much for joining us today. We hope you're leaving with another pointer to Grace, and a new perspective that will light it up in your own life. If you enjoyed this episode, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org; we would love to hear your questions, suggestions, and/or comments. Don’t forget to share it with a friend. Also, please be sure to subscribe so you're notified when a new episode is posted. Until next time, be well, be blessed, be bold, and be kind to yourself.
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[00:00:00.330] - Carri Richard
You. Hello. Good morning, Ebony Gilbert.
[00:00:08.130] - Ebony Gilbert
Good morning, Carri Richard.
[00:00:10.530] - Carri Richard
Welcome, everybody, to Grace Among US. I am Carri Richard. I'm a mindset coach who helps people make space and enjoy the ride. And one of my very, very favorite things to do is point to all of the faces with Grace, with my dear, dear friend and all others, but today, my dear friend, Ebony Gilbert.
[00:00:38.730] - Ebony Gilbert
Thank you, Carri I'm Ebony Gilbert. And it is a brisk Monday morning for me, but we are here, and I'm excited to talk to you, Carri, today, and everyone else about whatever we're going to address today in the world of grace, which could be anything. Infinite possibilities. We see it everywhere.
[00:00:56.930] - Carri Richard
Awesome. You want me to get started?
[00:01:00.770] - Ebony Gilbert
[00:01:02.390] - Carri Richard
Okay. So one of the things I want to start with is there's this ability to or I invite people to get curious about inviting Grace in. You can ask for it. And it's not a mad search. It's more of just being open. "Open my eyes, allow me to see". Right. And I was sweeping the office this morning and knew we were going to get to do this. So it was like, God, what's on tap today? And as I looked behind me. I have a lot of different things on the shelf. So one of the things I have is this beautiful bowl that was made actually by my sister in law's cousin. His name is Curtis, and he began this I'm going to call it a ministry. He began creating these bowls. He'll take them and break them and then use this. It's the art of and I hope I'm saying it right. And if I'm not, here we go. The art of kintsugi. And he'll put it back together with in the past, they would take vases or whatever, and they would mold it back together with gold. So in this, there's this concept I'm just going to read this.
[00:02:43.850] - Carri Richard
All beautiful things carry distinctions of imperfection. Your wounds and imperfections are your beauty. Like the broken pottery mended with gold. We are all kintsugi. Its philosophy and art state that breakage and mending are honest parts of a past which should not be hidden. Your wounds and healing are a part of your history, a part of who you are. Every beautiful thing is damaged. You are that beauty. We all are. I love this concept because it's another reminder that this life is not all. Actually, I have this in here. It's not all. I know you can't see this on the podcast, but I'm holding up a tiny unicorn because life is not all unicorns and rainbows. I still get caught in this trap that I judge my outsides all the outside circumstances of whether I'm "doing it right or not". And this is a reminder. When I see this, it's a reminder. That's not the point. That is not the purpose. The purpose is to be graceful in the tough stuff. To allow Grace to come in the tough stuff and to learn from Him. So that's my offer here on the table today.
[00:04:32.500] - Carri Richard
And so I'm going to be quiet for a second, Ebony, and I'm going to see what you have to say.
[00:04:40.250] - Ebony Gilbert
So I, too, have a bowl by Curtis, compliments of you. And I look at it often because there's so much artistry in it. It's the prettiest bowl I have by far, and there's so much uniqueness to it. There's no other bowl like it. And I saw you just hold up your bowl made by the same guy, I presume, around about the same time. And you can see similarities, but they're definitely different. And it reminds me of a couple of things. Number one, we're so unique. We're all so uniquely made, and it's special. And the fact that he breaks it to create this, there had to be a breaking to end up with this product is fascinating to me. And then the third major thing that stands out to me is he breaks it, creates something beautiful. And then lastly, the in-between part that you don't really have a lot of thought to like. It starts with a break, and it ends with this. This is gorgeous. But the in between, where he carefully mends it back together but doesn't try to hide the seams, he actually highlights them with gold. So he's highlighting the imperfections with a very precious metal.
[00:06:03.330] - Ebony Gilbert
That middle part, that in between part just really makes me feel good on the inside. And maybe I'm thinking too deeply into this, but it tells me I don't have to hide my perfections. They can actually be highlighted for glory. They can be highlighted for gold. The mending, the putting them back together again part, the middle part is what makes this beautiful. If it was a bowl that used transparent glue, you wouldn't see the imperfections. It used epoxy or something along those lines. It wouldn't highlight the imperfections. But in order to use a product in high demand in a number of markets that held its value for a very long time has increased. In order to use something so high end, he invested a very high end service resource into this broken vessel to make it this beautiful. Oh, man. That part right there, Carri.
[00:07:23.230] - Carri Richard
I love that. I don't think we're going too deep. I just need to say that that.
[00:07:31.090] - Ebony Gilbert
Part right there, the high end investment on what's seemingly broken, it's like pouring cash into stocks that you know are falling, and you just hope that your investment swings things around. But, man, this bowl and the way God deals with us in his grace and how he pours his resources, his best, his finest resources into this broken Ebony, this broken Carri, and it creates this beautiful vessel. Pretty encouraging to me.
[00:08:03.610] - Carri Richard
It is encouraging, and I just want to keep going with this imagery right now. I love that you talk about the process in the middle, like, the care and attention. And actually, I talked to Curtis. This was not like he didn't just break a bowl and then start putting them together. This was a process for him, over time, an investment to ... Sometimes the bowls broke and they didn't go back together very beautifully, but he did not stop because the first time it didn't work out. He invested in the idea, in the knowing, in the believing that there was a beautiful product on the other end, and he just had to stay the course and allow the process to happen. So I'd like to say that not all of my mistakes, what I call mistakes, not all of my most painful moments immediately showed up like this like this beautiful end product. However, you as you're talking about, if you had sealed this bowl back up with epoxy or clear glue or tried to hide all the imperfections, it's not the whole picture. And when I do that, when I personally try to hide my imperfections or my past or the things that have happened to me, when I hide those, you can never know who I am.
[00:09:59.310] - Carri Richard
You don't get the whole picture.
[00:10:01.970] - Ebony Gilbert
Yeah. And I imagine he didn't put these pieces back together all at the same time. So it's broken, it breaks, it shatters. Crisis.
[00:10:14.610] - Carri Richard
[00:10:15.330] - Ebony Gilbert
And he has to carefully place each piece back together.
[00:10:20.090] - Carri Richard
Right. And first he's got to gather them up.
[00:10:27.670] - Ebony Gilbert
Because it's still whole, it's still complete. So you gather all the things that you may have missed or lost, put it together piece by piece, and now you have a container that can hold things, and it's sturdy, and it's strong. And the gold is the grace. The grace is the glue. The glue is the grace. The gold is the glue. Gold glue, grace. Didn't know that was supposed to be alliterative, but it works for us.
[00:10:59.270] - Carri Richard
[00:11:01.570] - Ebony Gilbert
Golden glue, grace. It's cool. It's so cool. It's so cool.
[00:11:09.170] - Carri Richard
And it actually strengthens us, right?
[00:11:12.310] - Ebony Gilbert
[00:11:13.000] - Carri Richard
The other beautiful we're going to go all around this bowl. The other beautiful thing is, no matter how many breaks I have on the outside the vessel, the inside is still just as spacious.
[00:11:27.550] - Ebony Gilbert
[00:11:28.830] - Carri Richard
So I can be filled, for me, I am filled by God. I can be filled by God just as much when I'm broken as if this were a perfect bowl.
[00:11:42.050] - Ebony Gilbert
Absolutely. Matter of fact, the brokenness, the gold glue gives it texture, and now it's textured which draws your eye to it. Now you really can see the capacity and depth. Right. If this was just all clear black on the inside, you really struggle a little bit with depth perception because there's no texture. There's no depth. He's added texture.
[00:12:06.870] - Carri Richard
I love that.
[00:12:08.340] - Ebony Gilbert
And there's something about texture, whether it's on walls, fabric, or whatever, that makes it even more luxurious. It makes it even more pristine. It feels good to the touch. It's more visually pleasing. So now he's made it even more interesting.
[00:12:21.630] - Carri Richard
Yeah. More tactile.
[00:12:23.880] - Ebony Gilbert
[00:12:25.010] - Carri Richard
And I love what keeps coming up, is that idea he asks us to be salty. Right. He doesn't ask us to just be run of the mill. And when I can share, hey, these are my imperfections. And you say, oh, I have that imperfection. This is my imperfection. That connection, like, it just reminds me I am not alone on this planet.
[00:13:03.370] - Ebony Gilbert
Is coming to mind. Carri we're not alone on this planet. And as part of this process, because he's the crafter, he's the guy who's the artist here, his process is to break it, to produce this. It wasn't accidental. He didn't drop it and go, Oops, waste not want not. How do I make this art? It was designed to be broken. The end product had to be broken at some point along the way to generate this bowl with the golden grace. So what if and we've touched on this before controlled burn. What if the breaking, the graceful breaking that's occurring in your life is part of the design? It's part of the process. It has to be broken. It'd be no different than pottery going into the hot what is it called? The kiln -- going in there under the highest heat. It has to undergo this heat to bring out this product at the end. He had to break this. So what if we have to be broken at times? It's part of our process. It's part of our assembly line to be broken at some point with the full intent of being put back together again with some gold leaf and some grace.
[00:14:29.190] - Carri Richard
Absolutely. I love that. It's like intentional breakage, and I can reflect. In my life, I've touched on different intentional breakages and kind of reflecting often. It's when I have edged God out, I am running the show. And for me today, these intentional breakages are just an opportunity to walk further into the kingdom, just an opportunity to grow closer to something bigger than myself. And when I'm in the midst, it's not easy for me to say all that.
[00:15:30.170] - Ebony Gilbert
Because, first of all, you're not the artist.
[00:15:33.530] - Carri Richard
[00:15:36.840] - Ebony Gilbert
You're not the potter. So you don't necessarily always see what the vision is for the end. Right.
[00:15:45.040] - Carri Richard
You're the pieces. I don't see it. Not even often. I do not see -- I can't see it.
[00:15:53.090] - Ebony Gilbert
So there's that exercise of our faith to know that the artist, the creator, the potter has me being molded and made and shifted and broken because they know the end. They know the beautiful product. And how do I get to a point where I can trust that with no doubt? None. I know that the end will be better than this. I know that. And even in knowing that, it's still hard sometimes, right?
[00:16:25.370] - Carri Richard
Absolutely. And you know what? You know what I do in those moments some of the time. But one of the best things I can do is I reach out to somebody who knows that, too.
[00:16:36.750] - Ebony Gilbert
A reminder, because what did you just say? We're not alone in the universe. You're not the only one.
[00:16:49.090] - Carri Richard
In fact, I would be so bold as to say that everybody listening to this podcast has some sort of breakage going on.
[00:17:06.710] - Ebony Gilbert
[00:17:09.210] - Carri Richard
And just an encouragement that they're not alone, they didn't do it wrong. And as you say, which is the note I'm taking for the day, I am not the Potter.
[00:17:23.640] - Ebony Gilbert
I'm not the Potter.
[00:17:24.870] - Carri Richard
I'm not the Kiln, either.
[00:17:27.790] - Ebony Gilbert
I'm just the clay.
[00:17:29.370] - Carri Richard
[00:17:30.990] - Ebony Gilbert
I'm just the clay. And even clay that you don't mold will change its form. It will harden. It will change its shape. So whether you choose to be on the wheel and be broken and crafted or not, something's going to happen just by the nature of seasons and heat and cold and temperature. So you might as well be intentional with the molding and allow yourself to be molded and broken and knowing that the end product is beautiful. Oh, man. Listen, we have had these bowls I don't know how long you had yours. I got mine, I think, in July of last year. And I look at it, and I love it. But I don't know if I've actually taken the time to think on this level about what this could easily represent in terms of Grace life or whatever it may be. But I love it.
[00:18:19.550] - Carri Richard
Me, too. Hey, I want to give a shout out to Curtis Kotake. And if you are seeing this on YouTube, you can see them. If you're hearing this in your ears, you can go on YouTube and see them. And if you're interested in your own bowl, please reach out to us, and we'll put the details in the description.
[00:18:49.690] - Ebony Gilbert
Did you read the back of this when you read the description?
[00:18:53.220] - Carri Richard
I did not, but I'll let you.
[00:18:56.330] - Ebony Gilbert
So on the front of the card that comes with the bowl is The Kintsugi Explanation by Bryant McGill. And then on the back, Curtis has this. "May this bowl be a reminder of the strength and resilience you have within". And, my goodness, is it not? It's a black bowl. It's a black hole. It could literally be considered a black hole. And then there's gold. Absolutely. A reminder. The strength and resilience we have within, even in our weaknesses. That's the perfect time. That's the time of perfect surrender.
[00:19:36.650] - Carri Richard
[00:19:40.010] - Ebony Gilbert
This is cool. I love when these things come together like this. We're recording in the morning, so I feel like my voice is a little raspier than usual, but I'm super excited to talk about this. Super excited.
[00:19:56.430] - Carri Richard
[00:19:58.270] - Ebony Gilbert
Maybe Curtis can come talk with us.
[00:20:01.010] - Carri Richard
I think that would be great. I would love to have him on.
[00:20:04.480] - Ebony Gilbert
So, Curtis plug for Curtis.
[00:20:07.800] - Carri Richard
Yes. We will be reaching out to you and to that point, Ebony, we are opening this up. If there are people out there who are listening who would like to come join us and speak about Grace, what it looks like in their lives and maybe possibly where they might have a bowl that's being re... Put back together, I can't think of the word right now. Please reach out to us. This is an open table, and we would love to have you as a guest.
[00:20:54.290] - Ebony Gilbert
And there's no script. Like, you don't have to come knowing what to say.
[00:20:59.320] - Carri Richard
[00:20:59.720] - Ebony Gilbert
Just be open to the conversation and let's see how God shows up.
[00:21:03.160] - Carri Richard
[00:21:06.450] - Ebony Gilbert
Yes. I think I'm going to leave my bowl on my desk from now on.
[00:21:10.940] - Carri Richard
I love it.
[00:21:12.120] - Ebony Gilbert
It typically sits in the kitchen, but I think I'm going to leave it on the desk for my reminder.
[00:21:16.540] - Carri Richard
Nice. I might put it in front of me for a little while instead of behind me.
[00:21:21.280] - Ebony Gilbert
Yeah, I like it. Yeah, I like it. Close this out. Carri, what are your final thoughts?
[00:21:31.630] - Carri Richard
My final thoughts are just remember that we all get broken. So first of all, it's okay. And second, the process, we have no control over the process except to be in it, to have faith in it, to allow Grace in the process. That's what we have control or responsibility for. And the final product is always better than we imagine.
[00:22:14.650] - Ebony Gilbert
[00:22:15.690] - Carri Richard
Yeah. So we encourage you today and as always, love to hear from you. So I think that's it, Ebony.
[00:22:26.350] - Ebony Gilbert
Very cool. I'll just say one thing. Remember that you are art. You are uniquely and creatively made. There's nothing else like there on planet like you the artist, the creator knows what he's doing. He has something in mind for you. It's great. Even if you can't see it now. It's great. It's going to be great. Trust the process.
[00:22:51.410] - Carri Richard
[00:22:53.650] - Ebony Gilbert
All right, grace out.