Thursday, April 02, 2009

A Wabi-Sabi Life or Nothing

The Japanese word wabi means harmony, peace, balance, what's simple and unmaterialistic by choice. Humble and in tune with nature. Sabi means 'the bloom of time'. I love that: the bloom of time. Not the waste of it, but the bloom. What's most intriguing to me, lover of The Plath and The Sexton, is that both wabi and sabi in their most original, ancient forms meant desolation and loneliness. And now mean so much more, especially when taken together.
The architect Tadao Ando says this: 'Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. Wabi-sabi is flea markets, not warehouse stores; aged wood, not Pergo; rice paper, not glass. It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, weather, and loving use leave behind. It reminds us that we are all but transient beings on this planet. That our bodies as well as the material world around us are in the process of returning to the dust from which we came. Through wabi-sabi we learn to embrace liver spots, rust, frayed edged, and the march of time they represent.'
Here's to frayed edges, loving use, and a raucous and persistent celebration of cracks and crevices and the stuff that creams and gels and even surgery will never fix. We are the wabi-sabi women. Get used to it.


  1. Anonymous4:09 PM

    How funny I set down a book on Wabi-Sabi to read this blog entry...
    I love this way of appreciation applied to humans themselves ~~~ humans ourselves. Wonderful.

    great pic !



    [I imagine in the far corner of the photo spying a raccoon & it spying back...]

  2. It was so damn moving.