i have lived it and loved it all my life.
i think it probably made it easy for my darling husband all those years.
i was not the wife that had to constantly have
a new dress
and new shoes
a new dishwasher. or any dishwasher for that matter!
or new furniture.
or new knick knacks that i couldn’t live without.
i was not a shopper.
as a matter of fact i never was . . . even as a teenager.
which . . . being a girl . . . and all girl in every other way . . .
really alienated me from my peers.
they just couldn’t believe i didn’t want to ‘go shopping.’
now i think it’s called ‘hanging out at the mall.’ lol.
and i still hate it.
i was more apt to be wandering the shores of the nearest water
watching for little creatures . . .
i once spent hours watching a small brown muskrat building his house.
talk about a delightful afternoon.
. . . or with my head in a book . . .
or watching a romantic movie . . .
and i was always writing what i thought about life
in a notebook.
a notebook nerd apparently.
but i was happy.
i never craved ‘new’.
maybe because i was always and forever the new girl! LOL.
when i later discovered the concept ~ or in reality ~ the philosophy
of wabi sabi
i was mesmerized to find a way of life that made sense of my own way of looking at life!
i felt like i had finally come home.
when the japanese mend broken objects ~ they aggrandize the damage
by filling the cracks with gold.
they believe when something’s suffered
and has a history ~ that it becomes more beautiful.
~ billie mobayed ~
my grandad was from boston.
he “pocked his caw.”
he came from old money wealth.
his ancestors were prominent in the revolution.
he married my sweet little gramma.
he looked a lot like a young paul newman.
sky blue eyes
sleekly beautiful patrician nose
the ladies loved him.
and he loved the ladies.
he blew his inheritance.
and he ruined his marriage.
it took him awhile to do both. but he did a final job of it.
my gramma wouldn’t give him a divorce.
in new york at that time ~ the only grounds for divorce was adultery.
she was a lady. ladies did not stand up in court and point to other ladies as their husband’s corespondents.
so . . .
my grandfather . . . “grandad” . . . slipped from our lives.
only to surface occasionally by way of wonderful boxes in the mail
full of wondrous and enchanting new clothes.
usually my clothes were handmade or hand-me-downs.
they were fine. except when susie connolly said once
“that used to be my dress. it looked better on me.”
ya gotta love the susie connollys of this world. LOL.
much as i loved and revered old . . .
his new gifts were always a delight.
but maybe because they were few and far between
they really meant something.
maybe in its own way . . . that is wabi sabi.
things have an intrinsic value. not from abundance alone.
and if you don’t have them . . .
that’s perfectly alright too.
grandad always carried an engraved silver flask in his immaculate coat inside pocket.
it was filled with gin.
he NEVER appeared drunk.
but i have no doubt he was an alchoholic.
my gramma used to say
“a drunk is a drunk whether he drinks from a bottle
or a sterling flask.”
don’t beat around the bush there gram. tell us what you really think.
boy have i digressed!
i can’t even remember what we were talking about.
you know. you’ve probably heard about it.
there seems to be a love of ‘trends’ in america.
we find out about something and it’s HOT.
it’s everywhere. for a short time.
and then no one thinks about it anymore.
the truth is . . . as many of you probably already know . . .
wabi sabi is thousands of years old.
there are some excellent books about it.
the first i read a long time ago was the one below . . .
(the newer one at the beginning of this post is one you might like also)
the author of this one is
leonard koren. he resides in both america and japan.
a quote and explanation of wabi sabi from his book:
. . . “wabi sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. it is a beauty of things modest and humble. it is a beauty of things unconventional.”
what wabi sabi is to my way of thinking ~ is not quite so black and white.
it is more a “feeling” i think.
it is a feeling that everything is alright.
i prefer what a favorite ancient poet of mine said ~ matuo basho
“enduring poverty in life
i prepare fire on the hearth
and enjoy the profound touch of tea.”
wabi sabi to me is
contentment with things.
not forever and always coveting something else.
it is the feeling that you have enough.
and that the enough you have is very beautiful in its own right.
it is valuing the wear and tear of normal living.
it is clean.
but it is natural too.
it is laughing instead of crying when something breaks.
or gets marred.
it is valuing old hands that have known life
instead of perfect hands with a store bought vinyl manicure.
it is loving the shade and the sunlight and seeing them as art.
it is hearing the sounds of nature
even in the din of living.
it is looking for the small things of life.
and that in knowing in those small things ~ lies your happiness.
it is all of this.
it is wabi sabi.
i live a wabi sabi life.
it is a lovely and happy way to live.
i hope you share the same feelings.
if not ~
here is a little reminder that is big enough to blow your socks off!
yup. that’s part of it too i think.
the busier you are
the more frantic your life
the less you have time to live wabi sabi.
wabi sabi is all about time.
time is more valuable than gold.
don’t be so busy ever striving for more stuff.
valuing the age and the imperfections of what you have
that’s not my little lab puppy.
and that’s not a corner of my own piece of wood he’s chewing.
i have a bench the marine made.
and the end of one of the corners is just lab-puppy high.
and the marine’s lab was named amy.
and amy was black like that little lab above.
and she cut some puppy teeth on the corner of my bench.
and you know what?
it’s the most beautiful bench in the world!
amy’s gone now. she grew old. and she died. like we all do.
but whenever i look at that bench
i see that silken little black head and that adorable face
and i’m so glad i have that bench.
and that charlie brown
is what wabi sabi is all about.