At Skate Day a couple of weeks ago someone had some FREE magazines.† I picked up a copy of Mother Earth News to take home.† I would pick it up and glance through it at different times of the day.† Then I saw an article called ìWabi-Sabiî and started reading.
You can find the article online I am sure if you search for it.
Wabi-sabi is the Japanese philosophy of appreciating things that are imperfect, primitive and incomplete. ††It means finding beauty in things that at first glance, arenít beautiful.† It is old not new, antiques not mass market, old quilts ragged but still beautiful.† It is walking down a old street and seeing beauty in things most people would walk on past.
The strange thing about this wonderful word is that my Mother and Daddy have embraced this their whole lives.† How many times growing up did I long to have a brand new dresser, not one that was made 100 years ago.† Everything in our house was antique, and while my brother soaked this up, learned and appreciated, I did not.† How sad for me.† When I first got married years ago, Mother and Daddy almost completely furnished out house with ëold thingsí.† I had beautiful oil lamps, old furniture, a sleigh bed, churns and quilts and so much more.† I figured they would do until I could get better.† After a few years we were able to buy our ëdreamí house.† A totally modern 2 story with rounded walls, aqua and pink and black throughout.† Of course none of my furniture and things would match so we had a garage sale.† Everything must go!
We sold it all and bought all new, all modern, lots of glass and black and Mother told me, ìOne day you will come back to the beauty of old things.î† ìBahî I said.
As with most things she was right.† I do love old things now, old chest of drawers with pegs instead of nails, quilts made lovingly by hand, churns that were used to make butter so long ago, chairs that were made on front porches, aprons hand stitched, old jewelry that hides secrets of long ago events, old gloves, hats and purses.
I read the article to Kei and we have been finding Wabi-Sabi all around us.† It is our new philosophy.† I love it.† And NO Kei, leaving your bed unmade and messy is NOT Wabi-Sabi.
Here are 12 ways you can Wabi-Sabi† [Taken from the article in ‘Mother Earth News’]
1. Cultivate Slowness. Rebel against the machines. Hand a towel to a loved one and ask him or her to dry dishes while you rinse. Take 10 minutes to sweep the floor with a real broomcorn broom rather than filling your space with the roar of the vacuum.
2. Cultivate Vision. Start with the container you use to hold your morning beverage. Treat yourself to pottery that feels solid and heavy in your hand. Admire your mugís shape, textures and colors every morning to strengthen your ability to find beauty in the rest of the day.
3. Cultivate Craft. Making and growing things yourself is a gentle rebellion against globalized mass production. Spinning wool, making pottery and weaving baskets provides a tactile meditation almost impossible to experience by any other means.
4. Cultivate Cleanliness. An ancient tea master described wabi-sabi as ìputting oneís whole heart to cleaning and repeating it several times.î Every time we sweep, dust or wash, weíre creating clean, sacred space.
5. Cultivate Solitude. Find a space in the attic or a spare bedroom that you can dedicate to solitude and meditation. In tight quarters, designate a quiet corner in your bedroom or even living room as your meditation space.
6. Cultivate Space. Clutter smudges clarity, physically and psychologically. In wabi-sabi, space and light are the most desirable ornaments.
7. Cultivate Silence. To cultivate what Quakers call the ìstill, small voice within,î slowly reduce the noise sources in your life. Less is more.
- Leave the television off for one night each week.
- Turn off the radio during your morning or evening commute.
- Practice a few moments of silence before eating a shared meal.
- Make time in the afternoon for a quiet cup of tea.
8. Cultivate Sabi (the beauty that comes with age). Antique doorknobs and radiator grates give your home soul. Building with salvaged materials gives a new house depth and history it couldnít otherwise have.
9. Cultivate Soul. A piece made by hand holds the steady, solid vibrations of its maker rather than those of the jarring, impersonal machine. Surrounding yourself with things made by real people invites a tiny piece of each craftsman into your space.
10. Cultivate Imperfection. Real people leave mail piled in the entry, let the flowers go a little too long in the vase (if they have them at all), allow the dog on the bed and have unpredictable cats. Wabi-sabi embraces these flaws.
11. Cultivate Hospitality. Give every room in your house a soft seat, a blanket to curl up with, gentle lighting and a deep, delicious rug. Invite people to stay, curled up in afghans and sipping tea.
12. Cultivate Simplicity. Less stuff means more time to spend with family, friends and nature ó a philosophy simple enough for even the most complicated lives.
I honestly think the homeschooling families I have gotten to know over the years practice Wabi-Sabi much more than other people I have known in my life.† They know that simple is so often better, that there is beauty all around, that imperfection can be so perfect.†
So find Wabi-Sabi in your daysÖEmbrace it.
ìAny intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent.† It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite directionî.† ~E.F. Schumacher
ìEverything has its beauty, but not everyone sees itî† ~ Confucius