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Kintsugi as a metaphor for coping with life – Still Breathing

29 April 2020
Be broken, but never defeated.

When Danny finally returns home – after his explosive fight with Jess – to tuck Heath and Noah into bed, he shares a touching anecdote about kintsugi when they ask him why he isn't at home.

"Because boys, sometimes we break things and if we really care about things, we don’t just throw those things away. We do our best to fix it. Especially if it is important to you," he responds.

“Like your coffee machine?” Heath asks. Danny chuckles. "Like the coffee machine."

“What happens if you can’t fix it?” Heath wonders. He tells his dad about a friend who broke something and is really sad about it.  “Ask mum, dad. Mum’s magic, she can fix anything,” Noah suggests.

"I hope so. I really, really hope so," Danny says.

"We can ask her for you, if it so much trouble. She listens to us every single day," Heath and Noah say. Danny laughs: "At least she listens to someone."

"You know how you always play ninja, ninja, ninja hey? You know where ninjas come from?  They come from Japan. And you know in Japan they have this thing called kintsugi and what they do is if something breaks – let’s say your hands were together and this broke – they would take gold and put gold around it like this. And it makes it stronger than glue. Anybody who saw this, they would say why is there gold there? Because something happened here, there’s history, you know, they’re not trying to hide anything. That’s what gives us hope… that, just that. And that’s what keeps us together."

Speaking to NBC News, Candice Kumai, author of Kintsugi Wellness: The Japanese Art of Nourishing Mind, Body, and Spirit says: “It occurred to me that people needed metaphors and objects to understand the art of healing. Kintsugi reveals how to heal and shows you that you are better with your golden cracks. You won’t realise your full potential until you go through the tough times.”

And it is this very unspoken thread that weaved through the latest instalment of Still Breathing, that even though life can break so many people in so many ways, everyone can still stand tall, scars and all.

See some of those breaking moments again:

Jess reeling the day after her fight with Danny:

Candice admitting she loves Trent, even if she was the other woman.

Innocent facing T-Boss' father, who was in hospital.

The story of family, love, and heartbreak continues next Thursday at 20:00 on #MNet101. Follow the conversation with #StillBreathingSA on Twitter (@MNet), Instagram (@mnettv), and Facebook (@MNet).