Reflect on the Japanese art of 金継ぎ (kintsugi), where the repair is highlighted by a seam of gold.
We are thinking about the timeliness of Toni Morrison writing that wishes for a “return to normal” are distractions from righteous demands for something more revolutionary, more catalytic: “They fill their mind and hands with soap and repair . . . because what is waiting for them, in a suddenly idle moment, is the seep of rage. Molten. Thick and slow-moving. Mindful and particular about what in its path it chooses to bury. Or else, into a beat of time, and sideways under their breasts, slips a sorrow they don’t know where from.”
Or, as Haruki Murakami writes, “I don’t want to be ‘repaired’.”
But because we believe in the power of art, we are also thinking of when Jonathan Saffron Foer, in Everything Is Illuminated, says, “I can repair my mistakes when I perform mistakes. . . . With writing, we have second chances.”
Or when Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says: “Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity.”
Tell us where we go from here. Tell us how we get out of this mess.
Aura Estrada Short Story Contest
Deadline: May 31, 2021 (free global/hardship entries); June 30, 2021 (paid entries)
Judge: Kali Fajardo-Anstine
First Prize: $1,000 and publication
THIS YEAR’S JUDGE: KALI FAJARDO-ANSTINE