Wabi-Sabi Living

The Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi has long been a fascination of mine. It is essentially the appreciation of - and a longing for - imperfect beauty. Think of a rustic home on a hillside that is made all the more beautiful because of its weathered wood and haphazard planting of wildflowers around its entrance. Or maybe it's your grandmother's old tea pot, with its slightly crackled glaze and the charming chip on its lid. The wabi-sabi ideal is not so much a rejection of 'perfection' as it is a marrying of opposites. The philosophy can apply to any form of aesthetic or artistic pursuit: poetry, painting, design and decoration, all the way through dance and movement.

Some new additions to my library have inspired me to turn my appreciation of wabi-sabi into the art of practicing it at home by living with the things I love without feeling like I am violating some sort of rigid design rule. I am a great lover of old things (books, linens, decorative objects and dinnerware) and it is sad to have those great treasures stored in boxes, out of sight, simply because of the fear that they "do not go with anything." They could and should be enjoyed. The trick is to relax the mind while training the eye to incorporate and appreciate more texture, more colour and more variation into the living environment. These books, which are inspirational on their own, are the perfect guides to wabi-sabi living.
Wabi Inspirations by Axel Vervoort; The Wabi-Sabi House by Robyn Griggs Lawrence; Religion in Wood A Book of Shaker Furniture by Edward Deming Andrews and Faith Andrews; Wabi-Sabi For Artists Designers, Poets and Philosophers; Etcetera by Sibella Court.

1 comment:

  1. andrew, i have recently 'picked up' this term and have the Wabi-sabi for Artist Designers poets & Philosophers book. it was challenging to grasp the idea.. but your summary helped me understand it a bit more!