I recently learned about the Japanese aesthetic referred to as “wabi-sabi.” For many years I’ve been trying to describe this very thing with my somewhat limited English vocabulary. When I stumbled upon the term wabi-sabi in Mother Earth News, it was as if my personal view of the world had finally found a place to settle and be understood… in Japanese culture.
The term “wabi-sabi” represents a comprehensive Japanese aesthetic centered on the notion of transience. Some qualities associated with wabi-sabi are impermanence, modesty, asymmetry, simplicity, integrity, and imperfection. The term can be applied to both living and inanimate objects, either natural or man-made. It is with this view of the world that I explore art, design, and photography.
It is truly a blessing to see the world through a lens that reveals the extraordinary in the ordinary, finds strength in weakness, and illuminates beauty in the banal. Wabi-sabi nurtures authenticity and seeks beauty in nature. When encountered, it can bring about a sense of serene melancholy or spiritual longing. It grounds us in our humanity and inspires deep appreciation for all that we are blessed with.
This blog post was originally published on Harmonious Home