If wabi is a preference for very little in recognition of its unequaled abundance in the face of all else, then what is sabi?

According to Robyn Griggs Lawrence, in The Wabi-Sabi house: the Japanese Art of Imperfect Beauty , sabi means “the bloom of time.” Sabi implies an understanding that beauty and life are fleeting. Sabi is the grace of wear through the passage of time and use. Sabi is the appreciation of imperfections. Sabi is not about things of poor quality falling apart or leaving things in poor repair. Sabi is the carefully mended knee of a pant leg which is still in service.

Sabi is our lines, wrinkles, and weathered beauty.

Sabi is the waxed, worn, wooden arm of a chair.

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Sabi is rust through the oiled surface of a wood cook stove.

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Tomorrow I will put wabi and sabi together as in  wabi-sabi.

Sprout Question: Does sabi have any part in your creativity?

p.s. I am away today and tomorrow. I will reply to sprout responses when I return.

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

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16 thoughts on “Sabi

  1. Sprout Question: Does sabi have any part in your creativity?

    In a word, yes. The few things that are in my creative space (actually, in our entire home) have seasoned character — or as you so eloquently put it, weathered beauty.

    I always enjoy your blogs Terrill, but have especially enjoyed the last two days of wabi sabi. Thank you.

    • Robyn, I’m delighted that you found my blog and these posts referencing your work. Your book The Wabi-Sabi House is a favourite of mine. Is there anything that you would like to add to the discussion here which is essential to understanding wabi-sabi? Thank you for stopping by and making an unannounced guest appearance:) I’m thrilled!

  2. Ohhh! I’m drawn to Sabi as well as Wabi! Sure do like learning these things about myself from your lovely post. Your photos are so lovely…as always! 🙂

  3. During the process of making a painting, I allow (actually, I encourage) the layers to show, providing visual depth and a sense of time’s passage. Imperfection is part of the finished work, as the drip is an element I often utilize. And some of my gouache pieces looked weathered. I think this would be considered sabi.

  4. Pingback: Wabi « Creativepotager's Blog

  5. Pingback: Wabi-sabi « Creativepotager's Blog

  6. Ha, it’s gorgeous, but I only remember her young, This is not the Ms
    . Welsh I remember. She looked about 28 in my memory…

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