Thursday, April 23, 2009

A new life style I'm into: Wabi Sabi

So I'm thinking maybe I've been living under a rock, but it was only a few weeks ago that I found out about Wabi Sabi. While perusing through Maven Momma's blog I stumbled across a post describing Wabi Sabi and how it is such a joyful part of her could-be chaotic life.

I was hooked when I read this:

"It is truly a gift to live so closely with a child. I am remembering again what living in only the present is all about. The delightful child-sized messes around the house, the joy of beautiful food prepared according to baby time (which seems to stretch into infinity), the imperfection that can't be helped is all priceless..."

"First, I de-cluttered. Then I de-cluttered again. If 'it' isn't truly important or necessary, it gets recycled, donated or trashed. Then I started eating simply, and consciously, remembering this old Zen teaching: When alone, eat as though you are entertaining guests, When entertaining guests, eat as though you are alone. I began to better understand that all of our battered belongings are beautiful with evidence of their years of usefulness, and I began to feel that way about myself, too."

via Maven Mama


...so wonderfully wabi sabi...

These are two of the images she chose to represent Wabi Sabi, which she sums up as "Its roots in Zen Buddhism, wabi sabi is about the perfection of impermanence and imperfection. " I think this is such a wonderful philosophy! I can relate because I often find the most comfort not in new things, but in a coat that has fit me and warmed me from day one....and while worn through the years, still continues to do so wonderfully. There's just a contentment and satisfaction in that you have to know to understand.
via Maven Mama

I still have a lot of reading to do before I feel like I really grasp wabi sabi, and I'm sure that it ends up being something different for everyone, but below are some images that to me, atleast, I could see the wabi sabi...

...maybe it's furniture and tools that have been with you for years, and thought they might not all "match," the fact that they've served you so well makes them beautiful.


Uncluttered spaces are very wabi sabi!

live plants are something very important to me
via Apartment Therapy





via The Inspired Room


I love the "table" beside the tub.

via The Poetic Home

Here's a nice article I found on iVillage which tries to break it down a bit, or atleast help you get started:

Cultivate Your Wabi-Sabi Sensibility in 10 Easy Steps

  1. Quiet your home. Most of us contend with a daily onslaught of motors and machines ‑- not to mention the human noise generated by the Loud Family next door. You can bring nourishing quiet into your home through structural changes such as better windows and cork floors or with smaller fixes such as heavy window draperies and rubber mats for your kitchen appliances. Even better, leave the dishwasher turned off and wash the dishes by hand. This quiet task can be a meditation in itself.
  2. Give yourself sacred space. Don't deny yourself the luxury of a dedicated meditation room or space. If you don't have an extra room for this, find a special rug that you can unroll in a corner to designate the space.
  3. Clear the clutter. Start slowly, uncluttering your house one drawer or closet at a time. Keep clutter from overwhelming you by spending 15 minutes at the end of the day clearing away all that's accumulated. Get rid of one item for everything you bring in. And create plenty of storage ‑- built-in storage is ideal ‑- to keep it all contained.
  4. Appreciate imperfection. Don't throw out that much-loved but chipped vase, the old wooden coffee table that bears the scars of toddlers and adults alike, or that old tarnished goblet. Begin your wabi-sabi journey by letting the paint on an old chair crumble or by hanging antique doors. Be wary of counterfeits: True wabi-sabi eschews mass-produced distress for real antiques and flea market finds. Also be wary of taking the "wabi-slobby" approach and entering into ├╝berdistress ‑- wabi-sabi is never messy or slovenly. Worn things take on their magic only in settings where it's clear they don't harbor bugs or grime.
  5. Take inspiration from nature's color palette. Borrow colors from the autumnal landscape ‑- hues ranging from soft slate gray to matte gold, with occasional spots of rust breaking the subtle spectrum ‑- for a serene, wabi-sabi look. Take a long walk in March or November, and let nature inspire you.
  6. Make it yourself. Nothing compares to the satisfaction of curling up with an afghan you made yourself. But perhaps more importantly, there's the calming, centering act of setting stitch upon stitch, slowly building something that no machine could make better. You say you're just not crafty? Anyone can make collages (using magazine and newspaper clippings, flowers and leaves, wrapping paper), dry flowers (just hang them upside down in a closet) or create an indoor rock garden (it only takes a few).
  7. Bring nature indoors ‑- no matter what the season. Open yourself up to a whole new world of flower-arranging prospects. Pick a few stems of the chicory growing between the sidewalk cracks and let them settle into an old bottle or a rusty can. In winter, gather a basket full of dried grasses and seedpods. Wabi-sabi flower arrangements follow no rules or regulations ‑- except for one. They should honor the current season.
  8. Bring in pieces of soul. What gives a home soul? A sepia-tone photograph of your grandmother as a young bride. Linens your mother embroidered. Your five-year-old's artwork. Getting the picture?
  9. Study the masters. William Morris, Frank Lloyd Wright and Charles and Ray Eames all came under the wabi-sabi influence ‑- whether they knew it or not.
  10. Try the candle trick. So, you come home at the end of a long day and the dog's been on the sofa again and the breakfast bowls are still full of dried oatmeal, and the entry hall still needs a coat of paint. Turn out the lights and light some candles. Nothing looks quite so bad when the atmosphere is dim and flickering.




What do you think? Does anyone have any advice for me in getting started or things that have worked for you/I should keep in mind?

8 comments:

Julia said...

I'm hooked! This is an incredible introduction to the idea of Wabi Sabi. I didn't know about it in such terms! Thank you!

Linda/"Mom" said...

* Just learning more about this myself, & sent a link of this to my Sis who might really enjoy it, too! Many thanks, Linda in AZ *

Grace@PoeticHome said...

I have been living the wabi sabi lifestyle for the last year, and it has changed my lifestyle -- for the better. While I have always loved aged treasures, wabi sabi helps me refine my home by ensuring that I only keep what I truly need or truly love. This makes every piece in my home much more special.

Anonymous said...

Anyone interested in the concept would likely enjoy reading Andrew Juniper's outstanding book "Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence."

Beth said...

I like this blog entry. I'm wanting a cleaner, less cluttered space. I am already an expert at #10 on the list. :]

Sharon said...

wabi sabi just got a new fan. Thx for sharing!

Beautymist said...

thank you for sharing. I already knew and read about wabi sabi, but your post *renewed* my passion for it!
my advice would be be: go for it! it's a wonderful life experience.

BM

maven mama said...

Thank you, I am so flattered that my post meant that much to you! Thank you (as always) for the beautiful pictures, and also for the iVillage info - I hadn't found that yet, and I thought it very informative. Cheers!

ShareThis

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 
Google+