In a previous blog post, I discussed Wabi-Sabi, the Japanese aesthetic of finding beauty and wholeness in the imperfection of life. The Stress Resources November newsletter asked readers to send in their reflections of wabi-sabi. Here are a couple of reflections I received:
From Hilary Gould
The Wabi-Sabi Pomegranate
"Each year in December the pomegranates come into season and both Sam and Daniela have loved eating these since being very young. We have one picture of Sam about 4 1/2 years old covered in red berry juice.Thank you to Hilary and Abby for giving us some ways to view the holiday season through wabi-sabi eyes.
My mom told us about a "better" way to open pomegranates she read in a cooking magazine. Slice off the top and bottom, slice the skin in 4 vertical places, then put the whole pomegranate in a bowl of water. When you start to pull apart the fruit, the berries sink, and the unwanted rind and skin float to the top. When you are done, you skim the top and pour the berry-seeds into a colander. Easy! So, when we tried it at home...both girls said..."This is no fun. It's TOO clean. I want to be covered in red juice like when I was little". I think the girls missed the Wabi-Sabi aspect of the pomegranate experience!"
From Abby Seixas, author of Finding the Deep River Within
"I loved your mention of wabi- sabi in connection with the holidays--YES! I wonder if you'd like to include the exercise in Chapter 7 of my book: Wabi-Sabi Eyes" ~A.S.
Wabi-Sabi Eyes (excerpt from Finding the Deep River Within, pg 131)
"If you have noticed that you have a perfectionist streak, try a little wabi-sabi! What if you aspired to imperfection? Can you see the beauty if a few dirty dishes left in the sink? Your child's unbrushed hair? Robyn Griggs Lawrence says, 'Wabi-sabi reminds us that we are all transient beings on this planet--that our bodies, as well as the material world around us, are in the process of returning to dust. Nature's cycles of growth, decay, and erosion are embodied in frayed edges, rust and liver spots. Through wabi-sabi, we learn to embrace both the glory and the melancholy found in these marks of of passing time.'
Wabi-sabi is a different way of seeing, a good antidote to seeing through the eyes of imperfection. Next time you want to jump up and comb that hair or wash those dishes or straighten those piles, pause for a moment, try seeing it through wabi-sabi eyes."