Beauty in Imperfection
Wabi Sabi is a way of seeing the world that is at the heart of Japanese culture.
It finds beauty and harmony in what is simple, imperfect, natural, modest, and mysterious.
- Mark Reibstein, Wabi Sabi
imperfect beauty…these are qualities that wabi sabi embraces.
Wabi Sabi: the Art of Everyday Life, Diane Durston
Wabi-sabi suggests that beauty is a dynamic event that occurs between you and something else.
Beauty can spontaneously occur at any moment
given the proper circumstances, context, or point of view.
Beauty is thus an altered state of consciousness, an extraordinary moment of poetry and grace.
- Leonard Koren, Wabi-Sabi: For Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers
It is only with age that you acquire the gift to evaluate decay, the epiphany of Wordsworth,
the wisdom of wabi-sabi: nothing is perfect, nothing is complete, nothing lasts.
– Paul Theroux
The beauty of wabi-sabi is rooted in modesty that is elegantly perceived.
The aesthetic pleasures of wabi-sabi depend on attitude and practice as much, or more, than on the materiality itself.
- Leonard Koren, op.cit.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
- Gerard Manley Hopkins
quoted in the Daily Good
The underlying principles of Wabi Sabi are diametrically opposed
to those of their Western counterparts,
whose values are rooted in a worldview that
values permanence, grandeur, symmetry, and perfection.
- Andrew Juniper
For a lovely bowl
Let us arrange these flowers
For there is no rice
– Matsuo Bashō, Japanese Haiku
If you look closely at a tree you’ll notice it’s knots and dead branches, just like our bodies.
What we learn is that beauty and imperfection go together wonderfully.
- Matthew Fox
To banish imperfection is to destroy expression, to check exertion, to paralyze vitality.
- John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice
A diamond with a flaw is worth more than a pebble without imperfections.
- Chinese proverb
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