Wabi-sabi

I learned a new phrase this week.

From Wikipedia: “In traditional Japanese aesthetics, wabi-sabi (侘寂) is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection.[2] The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of appreciating beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete” in nature.[3] … Characteristics of wabi-sabi aesthetics and principles include asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and the appreciation of both natural objects and the forces of nature….”

Leslie and I are still trying our best to honor the memory of Mom by making Christmas ornaments. We are having successes, but what comes to mind are the challenges or the puzzles. How do we get these to be as balanced and symmetrical as Mom was able to do. Sure, she had many years of practice and had to start somewhere, too. She, too, certainly struggled with straight lines and cording and beads that don’t stay in place. Right?

It admittedly is a struggle for me to accept the imperfection that is my first couple of ornaments. One section is slightly askew, another has too many beads, and yet another has too few beads. One ornament’s finial looks straight from one angle but definitely crooked from another. So it is frustrating. I can’t help it; I want to immediately create something that is near-perfect and heirloom-worthy. I am trying hard to resist the urge to completely remake the ornaments. I am trying to envision these ornaments on a tree where you will see one side, and the view of the ornament from that perspective will be just fine.

Breathe…

Repeat after me… wabi-sabi.

Originally posted October 30, 2022

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