The tulips do not last long and the precious bouquet soon began to spoil.
When I went to throw them in the trash, looking at those fallen petals, I wondered if they had Wabi-sabi…
I wasn’t quite sure what that term meant yet, so I looked it up online to try to find out more.
The term wabi-sabi is not only untranslatable, but is considered undefinable in Japanese culture, there is no exact definition of the term, even in its country of origin, due to Japanese penchant for ambiguity.
Reduced to its most intimate essence, the Wabi Sabi could be said to be the Japanese art of the search for beauty in imperfection.
It draws directly from nature its three basic ideas:
- Nothing is perfect
- Nothins is permanent
- Nothing is complete
Wabi, which generally means “the elegant beauty of humble simplicity”, and sabi, which means “the passage of time and subsequent deterioration”.
Learn to contemplate the ravages of time as a deeper source of beauty. (Ummm, I tried to remember this when I looked in the mirror… 😉 )
I recognize that it is not a concept that I find easy to internalize. In the society that I live when something breaks or it is old it is replaced, it no longer serves, it even bothers. In writing these words, I see the harshness of that action, because unfortunately it doesn’t just include objects.
From now on, I will try to open my eyes and mind to the Wabi-sabi. I took a first step, by not throwing the tulips away so soon and leaving them in their vase, until there were no petals left, I saw them shrink into strange shapes, wrinkling every day, they became something different, but I think I was able to appreciate the beauty of the passage of time.