Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Natural And Simple Beauty Of Wabi-Sabi...

Wabi-Sabi is the marriage of
the Japanese Wabi meaning humble and Sabi which suggests beauty.
Wabi-Sabi invites us to set aside the pursuit of manufactured perfection and appreciate the simple, unaffected, uncluttered beauty of things as they are.
To create a true harmonious Wabi-Sabi environment we will strip away excesses and be happy with how something is in it's unadorned state at that moment.
Through the Wabi-Sabi philosophy we appreciate the modest, the handmade, the recycled, the cracks, the mistakes, the frayed edges, rust, the natural aging caused by the ravages of time and weather.
The marks that loving use has left behind.
The aging lines on our faces, that when left alone, add to and enhance our personalities, that without fads like botox and plastic surgery, tell our life stories. That add to our character and say unashamedly who and what we are.
To know about Wabi-Sabi is to learn more about less and there's more about less here.
Following Wabi-Sabi, we find that perfection is the result of imperfection...

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  1. Those are some great pics. One would get a very warm feeling living in that environment.

  2. Very Interesting and very beautiful. I read the link - the two words have individual meanings and the meanings have evolved over time... Tied together with Zen and Thoreau... All your pictures are things. I wonder how this philosophy would transpose to people. A proverb has emerged... 'Time is kind to things but unkind to man'.
    I have a book 'Wabi Sabi Love'. Interesting to read how the philosophy relating to things is equaled, or not, in relationships.

  3. This is a beautiful post Keith - I sit with some of my elders on our Marae and read such beauty in the lines on their faces and the wisdom in their eyes and I understand this yes Licorice it is inclusive of aging humanity to me.

  4. Yes, "Bohemian-style" architecture and the furnishings that go along with it have become big business in the last decade or so. Not that his is a bad thing, but the vernacular of the lower classes living accoutrements mixed with the conspicuously huge budgets of those with money and a desire for something "out of the ordinary" lends the whole movement a bit of a hollow ring to my ears.

    For a good long time, I bemoaned the fact that the bits and bobs necessary to build a proper housetruck were being snatched up by the well-off as "primitives" to decorate their homes. Better, I suppose, than having these items pushed into a pit and covered by rubbish at the tip, but damned frustrating to find that some of the best cast-offs and architectural has-beens are now fetching astronomical prices and are now out of reach for common folk like me (and "us" I'm assuming).

    Some of the items pictured here have obviously been recently crafted by artists with an eye towards creating "new primitives", and good on them. It all still seems a bit contrived to me, though.

    Oh, and that cutting board is well past being proper for it's intended use. Time to retire it...

    1. @MrSharkey: On the cutting board: You'd think it was past it's usefulness, but no: as long as it's being used only for plants and not meats, it's perfectly fine to use. Wooden cutting boards have a natural antimicrobial aspect to them that works, as long as you're not cutting meat on the same board as raw plants...the meat juice will get into the cracks and putrify; this is why Moses connected "keeping a kosher house" (separate dishes/utensils for meat and dairy) with religion; he knew that it was the only way to get people to keep up the healthy habit. In a more up to date version, a few decades ago the US Navy decided to replace all wooden cutting boards with polymer-style, and all butcher-block tables with stainless steel...for the same reasons-they thought it would be a healthier choice. After making the change fleetwide, they found to their chagrin that new methods of testing showed that wooden cutting boards were actually better at keeping the germs down!
      *Insert embarassed laughter here*

  5. pretty... and a very useful word, wabi sabi

  6. Good post, interesting ideas and interesting conversation here :)
    Yes, humankind is learning slowly - and comes back to the old knowledge, gained with centuries of experience.

  7. Love your whole concept of natural living. The pics are beautiful! Thank you for sharing.