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The Beauty of Scars

A couple weeks ago I ripped a favorite pair of pants. I tripped over, what I’m pretty sure was nothing (I consider this a skill set), and tumbled weirdly to the ground, ripping not only my pants, but scrapping up my knee as well. The knee was painful, but it was the rip in the pants that really upset me.

They aren’t anything special. I got them probably 10-15 years ago on the clearance rack at Old Navy for $8. But they fit me perfectly, they were the perfect shade of faded pinkish red and I connected with them immediately. It was a moment of pure shopping satisfaction. So, yeah, when I looked down and saw the rip, I was really bummed.

I knew I’d get home and patch up my knee, but I also knew I’d be mending these pants too. I often say that moments like these are opportunities to let things go and make room for something new. This was not one of those times. These pants and I have miles yet to go together, and this rip is a story we get to share.

Kintsugi, or gold splicing, is a physical manifestation of resilience. ... This practice—also known as kintsukuroi (金繕い ), which literally means gold mending—emphasizes the beauty and utility of breaks and imperfections. It turns a problem into a plus.

With this mindset, I wasn’t simply going to toss a patch on, nor did I want to make the rip invisible. I wanted to celebrate their resilience and mark it with pride. Our scars are physical memories of moments. I got out my embroidery thread and created “stitches” out of different color thread. The moment I fell, was not the one I wanted to remember, it was the moment I chose to not only accept the imperfection, but embrace it and accent it. That was worth noting.

Our scars tell stories and make us interesting and more loveable. My pants are now truly one of kind and I think I like them even better now.


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