I just read the description of what the Japanese words wabi sabi means, and it sounds like a description of what I call beauty in the world…
Wabi-sabi (侘寂) represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience. […] The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.
People like us, who love to look for second hand items, buy old clothes, furniture and things, are The Wabi-Sabi People. The vintage can be more beautiful than the new, and the shabby more chic than any designed and shiny you can buy right now. I’ve called this style shabby chic, but maybe wabi-sabi could be another word for the same thing?
If you can accept the imperfect you will not have to hunt for replacements all the time. This is my philosophy on many levels in life, now that I come to think about it… Also with people this is true. Nobody is perfect. If you can accept or even like other people’s ticks or flaws you will find yourself happier. You will get a lot more friends that will love you back, even though you yourself are not perfect.
Perfectionism scares me; it is too obsessive and harsh. And to strive for the perfect might be a game you will never win. I think this is why I will never become a good book binder, because I can’t make anything that perfect. I wish I could line all those papers up to look like a store bought book, fancy and straight, but I can never do that. The covers I cut never turn out as straight as I want them to be. But then again, the self made notebook is something else. It comes from me and therefore is not perfect, not straight, not shiny or “produced”. It is a part of me and hence it will be like me, imperfect. Because I am that too.
I too become a bit more wabi-sabi as each day pass. Grey hairs, stiff back, wrinkles… And because I (most of the time) accept these changes and embrace them I don’t worry about becoming older. I kind of like it, especially the aging that is going on on the inside…
My new diary is a Moleskine Plain Notebook bought in Norway on a trip this spring. It is shiny new, with cream coloured blank pages with perfect (!) rounded corners and smooth black cover. But the great thing is that with each day that pass I use more pages, more space. I’m using them making them wrinkled and imperfect as I add my crocked handwriting and smudged sketches (I’m trying to sketch some in this one, I don’t usually do this). The cover becomes scratched when bouncing around in my rug sack or handbag. And I love that!
If there is something better than a new shiny notebook filled with blank pages and opportunities, I think it must be a filled notebook from a life lived and experienced.
Each day I jot down stuff about my simple life, about my wabi-sabi life in my soon to be wabi-sabi book. Yesterday mom and I went thrifting, and what I bought you can see in the sketch above. It’s a drawn list.
Over at Studio Friday the theme as you might have guessed by now is wabi-sabi!