Wabi-sabi castes a familiar womb-like shadow into the emptiness of creative possibility. We know wabi-sabi by what is left in the muted abundance of emptiness. As I sweep the deck with a straw broom, I hear its brush against the floor’s surface – first the wood then the jute rug. I hear my breath. I hear the pair of Canada geese honk as they land in the pond below, followed shortly by a jet gaining altitude overhead. I stop my sweeping. My hand slides over the back of the bamboo chair on my walk toward the railing. I sniff the night’s rain soaking into the ground, feeding the fir trees as they bask in the morning sun.

Winter is coming to an end. Wabi-sabi then, is spiritual in its practice of simplicity.

Read more about this topic on my post about wabi.

Read  about this topic more on my post about sabi.

Sprout Question: Does wabi and sabi meet in any part of your creativity?

Primary reference: The Wabi-Sabi house: the Japanese Art of Imperfect Beauty (2004) by Robyn Griggs Lawrence.

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

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

7 thoughts on “Wabi-sabi

  1. Sprout Question: Does wabi and sabi meet in any part of your creativity?

    The intersection where wabi (minimal) and sabi (functional) meet is the foundation of my creative practice — simplicity.

    It is my perspective that our creativity is the outward expression of our connection to Divine Love.

  2. Reading your posts, Terrill, is like reading wabi-sabi. There is simplicity and functionality in every sentence. A walking living breathing meditation.

    I aim for that simplicity in creativity, but so often feel its elusive nature. Our house looks very simple, empty, yet full of spirit. Sometimes I dream of writing a blog that is simply bare bones. Presence-filled sentences. Minimal. Quiet.

    Wabi-sabi. Which leads room for imperfection to exist, right? In that case…perhaps nothing needs to change. The simplicity already exists and the rest is–just–snow flung in the air by an open hand.

    • Perhaps nothing needs to change Kathy. Robyn Griggs Lawrence in The Wabi-Sabi House tells a story about a Wabi Master Rikyu and his practice of being a minimalist….

      It’s said that a pour tea practitioner from the country sent [Rikyu] a large amount of money and asked him to purchase some tea utensils for him because he believed that utensils chosen by Rikyu would greatly elevate his status. He was highly disappointed, however, when Rikyu spent all the money on white cloths and declared, “In the wabi style of tea, even though one owns nothing, if one has only a clean white cloth for wiping the bowl, one is able to drink tea.”

      I think it is the aiming Kathy, not necessarily the arriving, which is important.

  3. Pingback: Sabi « Creativepotager's Blog

  4. It’s amazing how we so do get what we need exactly when we need it. I had gotten a book on Wabi-Sabi many years ago, read it but was only able to ‘get it’ on the level I was reading it from.

    Just now after reading what’s been written here I went to my book shelf, took out the book and turned to “Things are either devolving toward, or evolving from, nothingness”.

    I find myself going thru these phases much quicker now, often with such speed that I forget that this is the natural process and not a problem.

    I am so grateful that as I evolve I am able to deeply understand in a way that is such good counsel for exactly what I need, right when I need it most. Thank you for the reminder that triggered this connection – once again.

    • Happy to be of service Alison. Wabi-sabi is a concept that resonated deeply with me and makes sense in relation to how I live and like to be… even though all of this ‘being” is a work in progress 🙂

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