Green Inspiration: Wabi-Sabi

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

While visiting with my mom yesterday, she handed me an article. “I want you to read this, honey, but you can’t take it with you because it’s so good, I want to keep it.” She’d ripped it straight from the pages of a magazine, one she couldn’t remember the name of, but every word of it rang like a crisp, clear (albeit cracked) bell in my ears. Here’s why.

The article was about wabi-sabi. In it, this was described as accepting things the way they are—from one’s own body to a cracked dish to an old garment. It means forgoing making new purchases, if it can be helped; finding joy in things that are, at first glance, imperfect. It reflects the beauty in the organic, asymmetrical, simple, and modest.

To us, this is exactly what makes the handmade vase, the heirloom tomato at the farmers’ market, and the recycled-content product beautiful. It’s the very essence of finding beauty in the things that are kind to the earth.

According to Wikipedia, wabi-sabi,

represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience. The phrase comes from the two words wabi and sabi. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.

We felt that this notion fit in perfectly with a green lifestyle; indeed, how many times could we forgo the new and make do with something old, or take joy in the uniqueness of a handmade object instead of one that’s mass-produced?

Is wabi-sabi a part of your green lifestyle?

(Image: Stock.xchng, used with permission under standard restrictions)