Wabi Sabi and Palimpsest
If you have been following me for a while you will be familiar with both of these words. They are two of my favourite descriptive words and things that come under these descriptions will absolutely make my creative antenna jump to attention. For those who aren’t familiar with these words a quick explanation. Wabi Sabi is a Japanese life concept and aesthetic that values and finds beauty in the imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It values the signs of age and the wear and tear of use creating the story of the object or life. Palimpsest is similar but its focus is more on words and layers that show traces and tell stories of the past life of an object or surface.
The collective philosophy behind both of these is something I whole heartedly believe in. We are each a product of our life circumstances and experiences that have left their marks both good and bad. We can choose to love or hate those marks and I choose to love them and work with them recognising the beauty of survival that has surfaced in me. I think that is why I connect with these battered and worn surfaces and choose to see the beauty they radiate. There is always a choice to embrace something and turn it into good or let it drag us down and taint everything we touch. This explanation is so short and may sound a little optimistic but so what I am an optimist at heart and don’t apologise for that.
Anyway back to the beautiful surfaces….
Sorry for the little preach sometimes I get carried away with myself…. I just think we are in this world for such a short time we can make a difference and should try to see the good in everything as much as possible and spare a thought for those struggling. A kind thought or word can make all the difference adding a positive layer over the difficult ones creating a glimmer of hope. I choose to be that person and I’d encourage you to consider doing the same (if you don’t already!)
The other aspect is to celebrate the signs of age. None of us are getting any younger but how do we cope with that? We often try to cover up the signs of age. But maybe just for a moment consider that some of those signs are actually beautiful. What about laughter lines? A sign of much laughter and joy had at some point in that life? Just spend a moment to consider how beautiful you and those around you are despite the things life chooses to throw our way. I am for the most part preaching to myself at this point! Anyway time to end this rather long and sermon like post with the last few examples of Wabi Sabi I found in India.