That Striving for Perfection– KINTSUKOROI, Wabi-Sabi, Mahayana Buddhism and whatever else

Evan Bortnick    Wiesbaden

Evan Bortnick Wiesbaden

Evan Bortnick

Gesangsunterricht Wiesbaden

It’s that growth impulse in human beings which I find fascinating. Biological growth and psychological growth follow patterns that we can influence, to be sure. When we’re not consciously influencing (learning, working out, dieting, practicing) we are still growing, changing and following a seemingly inherent pattern in that changing. What is that pattern? How is it organized? Does the pattern itself evolve over time? I know for myself, when I’m at my most creative (singing, teaching, writing, playing) the sense of it is of being one with some vibrational pattern or another. I know I’m not the first who’s felt this. It seems to be the mainstay of quite a number of philosophies and practices.

One such is the Japanese art form called “Kintsukoroi”. In this fascinating art, (whether accidentally or purposefully) broken ceramics is repaired in a way which makes it even more beautiful and unique than it was originally. When I first saw examples of this pottery, it became a strong metaphor for the pattern dynamic I refer to above.

Evan Bortnick    Wiesbaden

Evan Bortnick Wiesbaden

This thought, taken to its logical conclusion, implies that everything, but EVERYTHING that happens to us CAN be taken as a growth impulse. I’d even maintain that this is a goal of all “Coaching”; to evoke insight in the client into how she can understand and utilize the seemingly ‘imperfect’ aspects of her personality and the ‘failures’ in her life as sources of inspiration and things of beauty. I know how easily this rolls off the tongue, yet how hard it is to actually practice with painful or traumatic experiences! It does seem to be easier with those we love than with ourselves.

We’ve all experienced examples of this. Imagine a mole or a scar on the face of a gorgeous woman. The apparent ‘imperfection’ brings out the inherent beauty. Think of the voices of the singers you love. A breathiness, an irregular vibrato, a falsely articulated consonant, an imperfect vocal color, an effortfulness or strain or an incorrect style all serve to bring out an impression of symmetry or beauty. Lovers of diamonds often say that interstitial impurities or inclusions make the diamond more beautiful and valuable than even flawlessness itself.

All of us, without exception, know what it is to have a broken heart. We also know what it is to watch that heart heal over time. The loves we’ve suffered over, that have broken our hearts and have healed them, all serve to make the heart stronger, more enduring and more loving. Just as in Kintsukoroi, our hearts, our psyches, our souls have been broken. The fracture patterns have a beauty and a rightness all their own. This is the stuff out of which the human growth impulse is made. Everyone has experienced it, either as a scar, as a broken bone or as a broken heart. Our perception of it, our ‘framing’ of it, our attitude towards these fractures is what makes all the difference!

Evan Bortnick

Gesangsunterricht Wiesbaden


About evanb54

I'm a passionate, curious learning junkie--- an X-Opera Singer turned Voice Teacher, Voice Teachers Teacher, NLP Lehrtrainer, Off-Path Coach, Cranio-Sacral worker and a few other even less mainstream things. Everything I've learned or taught revolves around THE VOICE. The Voice as a tool of artistic expression. The Voice as a tool of emotional transparency. The voice as a tool of flexible communication. More information can be found at my Institute Site: The Wiesbaden Academy of the Vocal Muse Gesangsunterricht Wiesbaden, Coaching, Voice Pedagogy
This entry was posted in Art, Authenticity, Coaching, Congruence, Fitness, Focus, Love, Mind, Mind-Body, Singing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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