Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Today I used the word Wabi-Sabi. It's one that is part of my everyday knowledge, but I realized that it might not make sense to a lot of people.
Wabi Sabi is a Japanese concept. It's about embracing imperfections in old objects and finding their beauty and usefulness. It is said that if an object can connect us to spiritual longing, our inner spirituality and perhaps our ancestors, it is Wabi-Sabi.
I consider this an important concept. While others may throw out their worn out couch, I would rather accept its thread-baredness. I use things that are chipped because they used to belong to mum. I mend the socks that my DH's mum made for me many years ago.
Connections don't just happen to personal objects. In my summer house, I found an old colorized photo of a soldier. I cleaned the frame and the glass and kept it. It sits on my dresser. I have no idea who he is but I felt a connection. He reminds me of the fallen, the forgotten, the after-life and gratitude. That is Wabi-Sabi.
In our throw-away society, we have forgotten to connect. We spend money to replace things that we already have that are imperfect. We honor youth and beauty and freshness. We forget how soft and comfortable old clothes are in our desire to be fashionable. We dis-respect our elders and think them useless. We ruin our planet manufacturing things that we don't need. Many spend themselves into despairing debt, all so they can pretend;all so they can refuse to connect.
We can be better than that. We can embrace our Wabi-Sabi.