"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
Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, asperity, simplicity, modesty, intimacy, and the suggestion of natural processes.
Wabi-sabi is the most conspicuous and characteristic feature of traditional Japanese beauty, and it occupies roughly the same position in the Japanese pantheon of aesthetic values as do the Greek ideals of beauty and perfection in the West. If an object or expression can bring about, within us, a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing, then that object could be said to be wabi-sabi. Wabi-sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.
Wabi and sabi both suggest sentiments of desolation and solitude. In the Mahayana Buddhist view of the universe, these may be viewed as positive characteristics, representing liberation from a material world and transcendence to a simpler life. Mahayana philosophy itself, however, warns that genuine understanding cannot be achieved through words or language, so accepting wabi-sabi on nonverbal terms may be the most appropriate approach. Simon Brown notes that wabi sabi describes a means where students can learn to live life through the sense and better engage in life as it happens rather than caught up in unnecessary thoughts. In this sense wabi sabi is the material representation of Zen Buddhism. The idea being that being surrounded by natural, changing, unique objects helps us connect to our real world and escape potentially stressful distractions.
In one sense wabi sabi is a training where the student of wabi sabi learns to find the most simple objects interesting, fascinating and beautiful. Fading autumn leaves would be an example. Wabi sabi can change our perception of our world to the extent that a chip or crack in a vase makes it more interesting and give the object greater meditative value. Similarly materials that age such as bare wood, paper and fabric become more interesting as they exhibit changes that can be observed over time."
"If there is true beauty locked within imperfection, then it cannot possibly be timed or positioned or staged, because it is lost, gradually, like water held in cupped hands, with any essence of plan or structure. You will notice this, if you look back over old photographs, for the most precious and beautiful moments in your life are always the stolen ones, the unanticipated ones, the ones that catch you completely off your guard; we walk as thieves through other people’s lives, stealing smiles and kisses and the beauty hidden within them that cannot be captured by lenses or mirrors or even our own comprehension. If you sit there, in your living room, in front of your television set, worshipping Beauty’s synthesised substitute, and waiting for her to come knocking on your door to transform your life, then you will be waiting in vain, as a prisoner of Vanity, no less, and she will keep you long after the youth has drained from your face; youth is not interchangeable with beauty.
You can, however, find true beauty in wise old women, in awkward stolen kisses, in conversation with strangers and strange conversations with people you thought you knew very well. You’re more likely to find it when you’re walking home from work on a Friday afternoon, or when you awake on Sunday at midday. You could find it in autumn leaves, in puddles; the seaside is an excellent place to start, especially during winter. And don’t give up on looking for it in yourself either; don’t trust mirrors and women in magazines over your own intuition. I know you know there is beauty there, trapped somewhere in the catacombs of your soul; I cannot tell you exactly where and how to find it because, well, that sounds too much like a plan, doesn’t it? It sounds like a set up. Just don’t be afraid to be always looking for that door, because when it happens, spontaneously, instantaneously, irrevocably, and completely unintentionally, you’ll know that it was worth it.
Photo's: www.lomography.com : http://www.lomography.com/photos/11081668
Ramblings: Me (Sally)