Antique

My lovely physiotherapist, Scott has been encouraging me about how to consider my future.  He offered an analogy: “think about yourself as an antique (“rude” I said), even an antique that cannot be sold at the auctions (even more rudeness!) yet the flaws, the cracks and imperfections are what will be used in the future – the patina I described it as. This reminded me of the Christian concept of brokenness and how we as people can only be used when we are broken vessels (typically) so, wise words from a young man! Another good friend/former colleague, Heather suggested the Japanese art of Kintsugi which illustrates the philosophy that nothing is ever truly broken. This technique repairs broken pottery by using beautiful seams of gold.

I reflected on this and recognised this as perhaps describing the second phase of my life as ostensibly defined by the Franciscan priest and theologian (mystic), Richard Rohr. It makes me wonder whether my physical catastrophe has led to an emotional/mental catastrophe inviting me to enter into the second phase (not expected nor wanted, of course) but it describes a role I could play as someone to use my disability in a positive way, the cracks, the flaws and the brokenness … but oh, the way I see things at the moment, I want to be restored to my former self.  Of course, this is not and will not be possible.  Acceptance is very, very hard.

An image of a small figurine broken whilst decorating. It has been repaired. It remains with a fractured look but can still be of use.

BROKEN

RESTORED

A Question

Some have asked, indeed so have I, what is the point or the purpose of my blogs? Many have said “Well they must be cathartic for you?” The answer is yes, I have found them helpful. I have also been told that some people have found them raw and painful which is not a bad thing if it helps people realise my predicament. But one of the main purposes of my blogs is to help others to have a better insight of a person aiming to live after a stroke. Does it achieve this?  

Please do leave your comments and email address below.

6 thoughts on “Antique

  1. Hi Peter

    Your blog is inspiring as are you and it reminds me of the need to focus on what we have, rather than what we don’t have.

    Life changes and as hard as it sometimes is we should face forward, be grateful, embrace and encourage one another.

    Go well. Smiles and hugs.
    X

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Acceptance? Acceptance is so, so hard…
    Your situation is so extreme, so uncompromising but for a moment this blog entry made me think of my own patina. The normal knocks and scratches of age, etc. I pictured my own cracks run with Japanese gold. And yes, I need to embrace my patina too. And the flashes of gold my cracks sometimes gift me.
    Thank you. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Peter
    Thank you for this latest blog, it is, as ever thought provoking.
    I’ve started following other blogs in the past but yours is the only constant – and I have just realised why. The other blogs were observations from others, but they didn’t make me question myself, their words fed me, but they didn’t make me think or reflect as your blog does. Your words have made me question myself “how would I cope?”, “what would I want?” and “what would I do?”; and made me think about my professional role, nurses like to make things better – I can’t make you physically better, so what can I do? I wish I’d had these opportunities to reflect while I was providing care to people, to be really pressed to think about the other person’s perspective, to try more to understand the frustration, the loss, the search for meaning. I always believed in continuity of care, the importance of known and trusted professionals and I read that in your blog, the presence of people you have got to know, and who have got to know you and know how to reach you, to press you to carry on, to know when to challenge and when to step back.
    So, what does your blog mean to me? Hearing from you; reading about your progress and the setbacks and how you are dealing with them; reflecting on what this means to me, questioning what that means in terms of my responses to others and most of all, it makes me feel thankful that a dear friend has the time and ability to write such pieces.
    Take care….and I look forward to the next one

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Peter, Keep writing please! It is not only accomplishing the purpose of being cathartic for you but also enlightening for me and all who read them. We need to experience the raw and painful with you. That’s what brothers and sisters in Christ do. This past Good Friday once again presented to us the raw and painful. He walks with you and all of us in the raw and painful. Thank you for doing just that. A blog isn’t useful if it isn’t honest and authentic. Keep being that for all of us. Thank you.
    Much love, Kx
    PS I’m sending you a link you may find helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Peter this is so powerful and thought provoking. I’d never heard of kintsugi – but your words brought several thoughts to mind:
    – we are all broken antiques that can’t be sold at auction but we have been purchased eternally by the Jesus the great restorer
    – a few weeks ago I was reading the bible verses about trials and emerging as pure gold. Gold can be purified chemically or by fire – scripture talks of the refiners fire. In the process, the form of the gold is melted and broken down, impurities emerge, are removed and the piece solidified again in a new and purer form. The kintsugi idea of our pieces being fixed with pure gold is amazing.
    – your blog presents the reality of how a life changing event actually impacts; it’s completely worthwhile, please keep reflecting and sharing insights which resonate where ever the changes and cracks in life have come from.

    Like

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