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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: Do you crave the simple life?
Author: Fraser Trevor
Rating 5 of 5 Des:
Would you choose a quirky piece of vintage furniture over a brand new shiny one? Do you always see beauty in unusual places? Then yo...

Would you choose a quirky piece of vintage furniture over a brand new shiny one? Do you always see beauty in unusual places? Then you might already subscribe to the wabi sabi way of life. And if the above doesn’t apply to you, then wabi sabi could enrich your life by making you see the world, and yourself, in a whole new, beautiful light. Wabi sabi is a philosophy that hails from Japan, and was described by the Japanese tea master Zen no Rikyu in the 16th century as “the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete”. Wabi sabi is about learning to be satisfied with a simple life once the unnecessary and superfluous is stripped away.

It works on three basic principles – nothing lasts, nothing is finished and nothing is perfect. Authenticity is key to wabi sabi. The traces of unique cracks, chips, bangs and scratches in furniture and things are admired and cherished. These unique marks or ‘flaws’ are reminiscent of the passing of time, and are considered to symbolise an existence of loving use and service. Another facet to wabi sabi is the idea of the ‘obvious pretty’ versus ‘unique’ or ‘flawed’ beauty. The quirks of wear and tear are what transform things from merely pretty into something treasured and special. To translate the words directly from Japanese is quite complex as their meanings have evolved over time. Wabi can mean natural simplicity and an appreciation of, or humble attitude to, life. Sabi refers to the beauty or peace that comes with age. In modern Japan, wabi sabi is often referred to as the ‘wisdom that comes from natural simplicity’. Robyn Griggs Lawrence, who has written two books on wabi sabi (The Wabi Sabi House and Revisiting the Wabi Sabi Home), describes it as “the Japanese art of imperfect beauty, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. Wabi sabi is the art of finding beauty in imperfection and of revering authenticity above all. Broadly speaking it is everything that today’s sleek, mass-produced, technologysaturated culture isn’t. It’s flea markets, not warehouse stores; aged wood, not MDF; rice paper, not glass. Wabi sabi celebrates cracks and crevices and rot, reminding us that we are all transient beings – that our bodies, as well as the material world around us, are in the process of returning to the dust from which we came. Nature’s cycles of growth, decay, and erosion are embodied in liver spots, rust and frayed edges. Through wabisabi, we learn to embrace both the glory and the impersonal sadness of these blemishes, and the march of time they represent.”
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