Saturday, January 30, 2010

Wabi Sabi

The way is so plain, we don’t even see it

“Wabi-sabi is a Japanese term that refers to a captivating work of art with a distinctive flaw that embodies the idiosyncratic humanity of its creator. An aqua groove in an otherwise perfectly green ceramic pot may give it wabi-sabi. A skilled blues singer who intentionally wails out of pitch for a moment may be expressing wabi-sabi. Wabi-sabi is rooted in the idea that perfection is a kind of death.”

“The essence of Wabi-sabi is that true beauty, whether it comes from an object, architecture, or visual art, doesn’t reveal itself until the winds of time have had their say. Beauty is in the cracks, the worn spots, and the imperfect lines.” --Todd Dominey, quoted in Pronoia

“‘Wabi-sabi is a kind of beauty that’s imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete,’ says Leonard Koren in his book Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers. It differs from Western notions that beauty resides in the ‘monumental, spectacular, and enduring.’ It’s about ‘the minor and the hidden, the tentative and the ephemeral: things so subtle and evanescent they are almost invisible at first glance.’”

Isn’t postmodernism great? Wabi-sabi allows me to embrace that which I would ordinarily judge, condemn, and reject. My heart can open itself a teensy bit more to the blessings that are continually raining upon us.

Thoughts at the YMCA, downtown Springfield, Illinois

These are good people. They’re just folks.

They’re practically normal, and normally practical.

It’s difficult for me to relate to them—

When suddenly I see they are


Perfectly ordinary

Ordinary and perfect:

Who can improve upon God’s work?

Appreciate it.

Thanks and praises!

O7 (*

Downtown in the desert of pavement,

Patches of melting snow reveal

Moss, vivid green,

Soaking up gloomy January daylight—

Right behind the Governor’s mansion

By Vachel’s house.

Indicator of a daoist grotto

Perfectly natural, naturally perfect

Parking lot or not,

No one can stop Creation

Thanks and praises!