Wabi-Sabi: Finding Beauty in the Imperfect

Fist Full of Sakura

Image by JapanDave via Flickr

Wabi-Sabi is the Japanese philosophy of appreciating things that are imperfect, primitive and incomplete.  The concept embraces age, rust, respect, nature, accepting the cycle of growth, decay and death and finding beauty in the simplest things because beauty is indeed everywhere if we choose to see it.

Wabi  connotes rustic simplicity, freshness or quietness, and can be applied to both natural and human-made objects, or understated elegance.  Sabi is beauty or serenity that comes with age, when the life of the object and its impermanence are evidenced in its patina and wear, or in any visible repairs.

And so, this new chapter of my blog reflects my desire and decision to embark on a less materialistic and more simple life.  Two weeks ago, my long-awaited for divorce hearing occurred and although I long wanted to tell my side of the story, a story of a husband whose wedding vows apparently meant nothing, of emotional and verbal abuse which culminated in physical abuse, of bruises and cracked ribs, of lies and theft, of depression so deep that suicide seemed the only way out of the mess that was my life.  In the end, the decision to end the drain of money into my lawyer’s pocket and be done with he who will not be named was the right way to go.

And so, ten days ago, I retrieved from my marital home, the possessions we both agreed I could have.  I had an army of people who gave not only physical help with moving but emotional support as well. Thus began the unpacking of my stuff, accumulated over the last 30 years of my life.  There is a sense of letting go and of coming home all at once in this unpacking.  I have found things that hold more meaning to me today than they ever did previously and I have found things that no longer hold any meaning and will be given away or sold.

And whereas, previously, I would have wanted to refinish and repaint and repair those things that are scratched or cracked or broken, I now see beauty in their imperfection as well as in my own imperfection.  I will continue to grow into this new person, the person I always wanted to be, with new-found knowledge and insight about what is really important in life. I will live a little but I will love a lot. And therein lies the only things that makes life meaningful: simple beauty, deep love, spiritual oneness with our surroundings.

Namaste.

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