Wabi Sabi Your Life is an absolute must-read for everyone.
In the world according to Zen, words only hinder true enlightenment; reducing wabi sabi to mere language seems like sacrilege to its spirit. But loosely translated, “wabi” is simplicity, whether elegant or rustic; “sabi” means the beauty of age and wear.
Leonard Koren, author of “Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers,” tried unsuccessfully to discover a precise definition while researching his book. He eventually coined his own, which has become standard for authors in the West: “Wabi sabi is the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete, the antithesis of our classical Western notion of beauty as something perfect, enduring, and monumental.”
To illustrate: Wabi sabi is asymmetrical heirloom vegetables and handmade pottery, crow’s feet and the frayed sleeves of a favorite wool sweater, exposed brick and the first draft of a difficult letter.
You won’t find wabi sabi in Botox, glass-and-steel skyscrapers, smart phones, or the drive for relentless self-improvement. It’s a beauty hidden right in front of our eyes, an aesthetic of simplicity that reveals itself only when animated through the daily work of living.
Right now, people all over the world are running around trying to find the “perfect” presents for everyone on their list, when really, the most precious gift you can give is your time. Why does everything have to be perfect, from the tableware to the gift wrap to the smudge on your guest room bathroom? (Mom, I know you’re reading this, & if the vaccuum doesn’t get run, it’s okay!) Accept that life isn’t perfect, & that sometimes, dinner will be overcooked, your favorite shirt will get a spot, & you might have to settled for mismatched dishes. Stay vibrant & in love with life, & no one will even notice!