Liz introduced this phrase to me once as I was describing something so perfectly imperfect that it made my heart hurt. I lacked the vocabulary to articulate my feelings about the subject when she interjected with “Wabi-sabi”:

Wabi-sabi represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”… Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, asperity (roughness or irregularity), simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes. – from Wikipedia

Wabi-sabi is my old home that makes a hobby of collecting dust and cracks. Wabi-sabi is my jacked up toes and pimple on my chin. Wabi-sabi is the gap between here and there. In 2012 I will capture, shape and share the beauty that is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.


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    Ever since you mentioned this to me I haven’t been able to let it go. It got me thinking a lot about what my 2012 word is. And it got me wanting to know more about what exactly wabi-sabi is. Thanks for explaining!

  2. I don’t think I could love that phrase more.

  3. Although I’ve been following and loving your cooking, outfit, and business posts for a while, I even *more* love your recent more abstracted and yet more personal posts (Somehow reporting one’s thoughts seems more personal than reporting one’s actions…) I feel that pile of kindling in my belly, too, waiting to ignite, and I appreciate that you articulated that feeling so well.

    Like @Francine and @HAILEY, wabi-sabi is a word I’ve been needing for that particular kind of beauty that’s so hard to articulate. Thanks for sharing such important knowledge!

  4. Hailey & Francine – I feel like I should have wabi-sabi etched into my skin as a daily reminder on how to be. It would make nice knuckle tattoos. 😉

    enantiom3r – Aw, thanks for the nice feedback! I’ve been deep in my thoughts lately so it makes sense that my blog would reflect that tone. And I’m glad you can relate.

  5. Vanessa

    I love the term wabi-sabi! It also reminds me wasabi, which makes me want some sushi:P

  6. YES. Yes. If only more people could just chill the fuck OUT and re-frame their lives and realize that everything is wabi-sabi, really, and it’s all beautiful if you look at it the right way.

    Why no, I’m not tipsy in some airport hotel in Detroit on a business trip. How silly of you to presume.


  7. how have i have never heard of this? i have so many uses!… (though i’ll probably end up saying, “it’s so wasabi! wasabi!”)

  8. i love the term wabi sabi.. i almost used it for our mascots for eddie (our nickname for the airstream) but ended up going whole hog on the christmas vacation theme and chose clark & ellen (; love the idea of wabi sabi, perfect imperfectness..

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