Maybe my dance partner – Michele – was speaking directly to me, as she sometimes does, by sharing a beloved book. However it came to be, Wabi-sabi makes sense. Koren’s Wabi-sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets, and Philosophers registers with my adult point of view:
“Wabi-sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble. It is a beauty of things unconventional…to create beautiful things without getting caught up in the dispiriting materialism that usually surrounds creative acts…deep, multi-dimensional, elusive – appeared the perfect antidote to the pervasively slick, saccharine, corporate style of beauty that I felt was desensitizing American society” (pp.7-10)
Wabi-sabi has blossomed my artistic, professional, and personal life. The mindful angle illuminates the way I view my imperfect art, my imperfect body, my imperfect love, my imperfect family, my imperfect emotional states, this imperfect moment in history, and many many imperfect actions. In what I have coined My Wabi-sabi Way, bastardized with personal applications far removed from ancient Japanese intentions, life is more beautiful. I regularly tune-up My Wabi-sabi Way like a meditator might upkeep their formal practice with a new cushion or location. I do this by gathering imperfect items from nature. Recent episodes include collecting broken and jagged seashells along the South Carolina coast; photographing muddy puddles along a desolate lane; and scanning the sky above for a blend of light and dark clouds. In nature, Wabi-sabi’s energy is ever present. And in the natural world, now, I have an unspeakable sense of belonging.