“Wabi-sabi is an intuitive appreciation of a transient beauty in the physical world that reflects the irreversible flow of life in the spiritual world. It is an understated beauty that exists in the modest, rustic, imperfect, or even decayed, an aesthetic sensibility that finds a melancholic beauty in the impermanence of all things”. -Andrew Juniper
I have to thank my Aunt Barbara for introducing me to wabi-sabi about 15 years ago. It really tied together so many different things I have always been naturally drawn to – asymmetry, subtle details, process, nature, modesty.
Wabi-sabi is not easy to sum up in one blog. So Im just going to share with you one aspect – how it can be applied in your home. For the record, “shabi-sheek” is not wabi-sabi. Shabi-sheek is store bought, wabi-sabi is a way of life.
Authenticity and Transience
The scratches and stains on your table are symbolic of the life you’ve lived and the passing of time. The worn floors, the dying tree(thats not hanging over your house), the cracked ceramic bowl, the withering flowers in the vase – Instead of letting these things cause you stress, try to acknowledge and even admire their imperfections. Look at them closely and appreciate them for what they can be – reminders of our impermanence and the amazing cycle of life.
Live modestly. Just like art, life can be defined not by what we put in, but by what we leave out. In your home, surround yourself with things that are of use or that contribute positively to your way of life. Everything else is noise.
Heres a more in depth description of wabi-sabi. https://www.tofugu.com/japan/wabi-sabi/
And a great book on entertaining, wabi sabi style…
“An antidote to the veneer of perfectionism so often presented by books of its kind, Wabi-Sabi Welcome offers readers license to slow down and host guests with humility, intention, and contentment.” —Nathan Williams, founder of Kinfolk
Photograph by Debi Treloar