The Beauty of Imperfection
Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel
The Japanese philosophy of Wabi-Sabi celebrates the beauty of imperfection and of things that are impermanent and incomplete.
It is the beauty of things both humble and modest. It is the beauty of things that are raw, unrefined and unconventional.
Old Levi’s jeans, a comfortable chair, a weathered fence, a tree that’s been in your yard forever, your favorite surfboard, classic cars, watches that wind by hand, the neighborhood diner.
SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel have been learning about Wabi-Sabi, which dates back 5,000 years, and its emphasis on self-acceptance and finding joy in everyday things as they are.
We learned that in Japan cracked vases or bowls are often repaired with gold, highlighting the flaw and turning it into a mark of beauty that represents part of the object’s history.
Originally derived from Buddhist teachings, the word Wabi refers to rustic simplicity, freshness, and understated elegance – both in nature and in man-made works.
It can describe a uniqueness or elegance, too. Sabi represents the beauty and serenity that come from age…with visible flaws and worn patina adding to its charm.
Drawing from nature, Wabi-Sabi reminds us of the simple reality that things don’t stay the same, changing from day-to-day and season-to-season with different shapes and colors unfolding through the passing of time.
Putting aside the quest for air-brushed perfection in our lives, selves and surroundings, Wabi-Sabi is a way to de-stress. To relax and slow down, to embrace each moment, the people we love and the things we have.
Rather than searching for the next new thing to buy or do, we can find something much more valuable – an inner calm and the happiness that comes from being ourselves.
Wabi-Sabi is the perfect gift to give yourself – the gift to be imperfect.
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