I just broke my favorite teacup while shooting. I didn’t have the chance to do much with it yet, so that just adds to the disappointment.
As I was thinking about it, I wondered, how could it have been my favorite? After all, I’d only just recently gotten it, and it wasn’t a core part of any of my images.
But maybe that’s why.
Maybe loss is made more painful when we don’t have anything to remember it by. When the space we feel it should have existed is vacant. All we have are our empty thoughts of what could have been, but never was.
This is why I create. This is why composite photography matters. To capture the worlds that are too soon forgotten, the childhood dreams where we all long to escape, yet so few of us actually retain.
The innocent worlds of childhood are far too often lost to time, just faded memories that we only think of in quickly passing glimpses.
I picked up those pieces of my broken teacup, with every intent to glue it back together. But out of the edge, there’s a tiny little chip missing. I couldn’t find the missing piece. But that’s how life is, beauty can be reclaimed, even after the beast of brokenness has already devoured the wholeness of what we once were.
There may be a piece of us missing, but that only transforms the story we’re in, it doesn’t bring the story to an end. Scars show us who we were, they show us our strength, what we do with them is what shows us our future.
And like the Japanese practice of Kintsugi or Kintsukuroi, where broken pottery is mended with gold, so too can our lives heal, and what once was broken, now becomes beautiful and whole, with even more value than it could have held before.