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Kintsugi (Prose Poetry)

Forgive me as I process my feelings through writing. When I feel something, I feel it fully. Writing it out helps ease it.

Kintsugi (Japanese): “kin” = Golden, and “tsugi” = repair.

It’s concern that drives me. This undying urge to aid. I can witness what he’s going through, even though I know I cannot help. I know I had to stop looking, that he chose to cut me out.

I keep praying and praying for him (he’d hate that I’m doing that) while inside I feel like a sinking ship. Helpless as the water overflows my decks, pulling my once sturdy form down, down, into the darkness below. Cold pressure squeezing my bones.

I will not go down with this ship however. The vessel descends but I don’t need to stay on it. I’m free to leave, swimming up towards the surface. I won’t drown in this pain. But I am alone now, in a vast ocean with no land in sight. Wood from the wreckage beneath my arms as a flotation device.

Half of me is stuck in the icy water, legs kicking to propel me somewhere — anywhere I can reach to escape this sea. To stop experiencing this ache and helplessness. But feel it I must, and feel it, I am. I will not let the water numb me. As long as I can breathe, I will keep feeling.

I have been a castaway in this endless ocean before. I know that every time I do reach the shore, I swim back out with renewed strength, hauling lifejackets and lifebuoys, to support those still caught in the waves. But right now my legs are waterlogged and tired. My upper half exposed to the rough salty air. Dehydrated. Scared. Hopeful that a ship will appear, or that the currents will take me back to the land. I'm kicking and kicking but not getting anywhere.

I need to stop and float. I need to allow things to be how they will be. Allow the currents to guide me. I need to accept that his journey is his own. I need to learn that I can’t support every soul. And that sometimes I am cold and I hurt the ones I care about.

I look out at the vastness of the sea. An endless plane caressing the horizon. It’s calm now at least, here on the surface. I fear the undertow. I fear what lurks below may grab me and drag me back into the deep. But hope, I must have hope, and courage. He is not weak. And me, I’ve been in this sea before. I have felt much heartache, though no two are the same. Each loss carves a different wound into my heart. I am a masterpiece of scars, an engraving made from the pains I’ve overcome. And ‘beauty’ they breathe, as my community fills each crack with gold. ‘You are not alone’ they say, ‘we are with you’. I know this is true. I know that I’m blessed. Still, I weep, hoping he has someone too.

Let it go. Let him go. Silence is what he chose. Yet images of his torment burn in my mind, the torture he’s facing, the help he wants to find. He’d hate me for writing this, and trust me even less, but God, please help him. Send someone to him, to aid and assist.

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