Glenn Charles

Adventurer | Photographer | Connector

Today I am a Time Traveler with a Camera... Tomorrow, who knows

Wabi Sabi

On Wikipedia, the definition of Wabi Sabi is partially given as: "Wabi-sabi is the most conspicuous and characteristic feature of traditional Japanese beauty and it "occupies roughly the same position in the Japanese pantheon of aesthetic values as do the Greek ideals of beauty and perfection in the West." "if an object or expression can bring about, within us, a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing, then that object could be said to be wabi-sabi." "[Wabi-sabi] nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect".

After reading an article on Wabi Sabi and then doing some research on my own, I found that the phrase resonated with me and how my life has evolved.  Simple and yet elegant, beautiful in all its roughness, good and bad.  I thought how that was so true of most everyone's lives, yet we often fail to notice our own beauty or that of those around us.  We instead persist in the thought that all of our natural imperfections are bad and ugly, thus constantly striving to change ourselves into something that we are not or more dangerously we seek out items that we can consume and thus make us more perfect.  I am not saying that we should not attempt to evolve both as individuals and as a species, but more to the point, that we are inherently beautiful in our natural imperfections. 

All of this Wabi Sabi talk got me to start looking for things in my natural surroundings epitomize what I think these two words mean.  The picture of a flower with a single dew drop at the tip of a leaf was an obvious choice.  On the same day, I found this spider web,

bejeweled in the gifts of Mother Earth right in front of me.  To my eye, once again, the beauty lie in its imperfections -- its naturalness.  The longer I stared at the web, and now at the image,  the more I continue to be amazed at how on one hand it is an image of perfection, the dew drops perfectly formed; the overall magic of a spider web, the ultimate capture net, spun from such a small and simple creature.  Then, I stare harder and I notice that the web is not perfectly symmetrical, in reality, it has all sorts of imperfections in its structure.  Some of the strands are long, some are short,  some almost seem out of place. 

But there it is, a work of art, something created by the Universe with a purpose in mind.  Take a look around, take a look at yourself, at your loved ones.  We all are imperfect, and yet not.