Monday, February 2, 2009

Wabi sabi: Simple and Profound







Sustaining the feeling of intimacy and compassion amidst an imperfect, incomplete and impermanent universe has been the aesthetic goal of Wabi sabi objects. They are simple, rustic and often asymmetrical. Their beauty lies in the realization that nothing ever stays the same. A bright bouquet of flowers that was given to a loved one will soon become withered and unappreciated; the old stepping stones near the pond that you used to skip when you were a child are now chipped beyond recognition, dusty and old. Such is the feeling of Wabi sabi. It does not intend to be nostalgic, it is a simple reminder that all shall pass. All shall be transformed by time. For me is an appreciation of the moment. A deep sense of serenity permeates all Wabi sabi objects. It is like meeting an old sage in the woods, in the beach or in a lonely mountain trail.
Humble art suspended in time, slowly aging, slowly living...slowly dying.
It is us we see in these objects.

Note: Dry leaves by imagetaker!, metallic surface by gdnarch both in Flickr.

14 comments:

tangobaby said...

I *just* saw a book on wabi sabi very recently at SF MOMA, and never having heard of it before, immediately realized that it's something very important to me, even more so now that I take photographs, especially loving things that ARE imperfect.

It felt great knowing there was a name and a philosophy behind it. And here you are, with another look at wabi sabi (for me?). I love it. Thank you.

;-)

Raph G. Neckmann said...

I like appreciation of the moment, Pink Cowboy. Everything is transient, and yet, paradoxically, each treasured moment endures for ever.

Jo said...

I just read through some of your blog posts, and your blog is so much fun! You have the one thing that makes a great blog -- intellectual curiosity.

I love these photos. I have always loved to draw aged things -- old driftwood, faded flowers, ancient faces. I didn't realize it had a name. Wabi sabi. I think imperfect things are the most beautiful -- even in people.

Janelle said...

beautiful! when i read the title on my blog page i thought it had something to do with sushi....(she confesses in very small voice) and not with impermanence! lots love x j

A Cuban In London said...

Beautiful images. Muchas gracias. And the explanation was very useful.

Greetings from London.

Cynthia said...

Beautiful post. I love the photos you selected. Sukipoet blogger has wabi sabi person and I always wondered what she meant.

Cynthia said...

sorry--Sukipoet has it "on her profile"---I left off an important phrase!

willow said...

I've always preferred my things to be old and a little bit worn. Maybe I've just been practicing Wabi sabi all this time?

Why is it so hard for us to accept the fact that all things change? Life has always been this way. And for some reason, we fight it as if it were something unnatural.

My Castle in Spain said...

so serene...i also love the phrase and the underlying concept..
delightful...thank you !

CLAY said...

Splendid, and cultured post TPC--but I am not surprised at all.

Clay

JBA said...

So what you're saying is that I don't have to clean out my kitchen cabinets after all? Phew!

All the best to you today. Hope all is well!

Cynthia said...

Howdy partner, I just wanted to let you know that I tagged you over at the Oasis stagecoach watering hole. I hope you can participate.

Bachelor said...

TPC,
Great post! Yes, everything changes right before our eyes and yet we cannot see the change unless brought to a picture of the past. At that point, we amazingly see change has occured. I can't believe my children are in their early 30s and yet I would not want to return to those growing years and yet I do find myself reliving them through cherished pictures. Wabi sabi!
The Bach

nollyposh said...

Yes, everything has it's season X:-)