Thanks to my brother Erik and the subscription he gave me to the Mother Earth News I have just discovered something that makes me enjoy life even more. I can now find contentment and peace in everything I have and everything that surrounds me by engaging in Wabi-Sabi. What is Wabi-Sabi? I had never heard of this until I read an article in the current issue of the Mother Earth News last night written by Robyn Griggs Lawrence titled Wabi-Sabi: Finding the Beauty and Peace in Ordinary Things. To quote from the article “Wabi-Sabi is the Japanese philosophy of appreciating things that are imperfect, primitive and incomplete.” “It’s slow and uncluttered and regards authenticity above all.” “It finds beauty in cracks and crevices and all the marks that time, weather and use leave behind.” Well if that is the definition then I live in a Wabi-Sabi Mansion and the photos you see here may make you extremely envious.
Think for a moment of one of your favorite objects, a well worn but oh so comfortable sweater with holes, a piece of pottery or drawing your child gave you long ago, or a piece of furniture passed down from your grandparents with a few ding s and a knob or two missing. Dwell on it. It’s comfortable, it was made by someone you love, or it has history told by the scratches, water marks and a missing knob. You probably will never get this same feeling of appreciation by going to Wal-Mart or Target or wherever and buying a mass produced product fresh out of the perfectly packaged cardboard box. Wabi-Sabi is about appreciating old and used items, appreciating hand-made items, appreciating the imperfections that are life.
If you read the article on Wabi-Sabi in the Mother Earth News you’ll find a list of 12 Ways to Wabi-Sabi. It’s all good in my book and I do encourage you to read it because then you may find that you can accept things as-is, as good, just as they are right now and feel content about it.
Sure…I have plaster missing from my walls and ceiling…but it looks kind of neat and it has a certain warmth to it….and it makes me think of who actually did that work….and what it was like back then. I can get lost in the beauty of the imperfection and I believe that is what Wabi-Sabi is trying to say. Now I just have to convince Lauren.