There used to be a little yellow box on my "about" page of this very Survive 55 website titled "Wabi-Sabi."

Inside the box was a  written definition by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando of what he felt "Wabi-Sabi" meant to him.

I removed it after I completed my first year of blogging.

I don't know why I removed it.

It could be that I felt the message of what "Wabi-Sabi" meant to me was being lost by having it front and center on my landing page.

Also, I felt that no one was really reading it anyway.

Kind of like my blog at that time........no one was reading it anyway.

But I have persevered and so has my blog and so has the concept of "Wabi-Sabi" in my life.

As I sat drinking my first cup of coffee this morning I re-read the words in this little yellow box as I have dozens of times before.

Amid all of the worldly turmoil, media onslaught, global environmental concerns and mountains of human drama I still long to embrace the concept of "Wabi-Sabi."

 

"Wabi-Sabi" is a lifestyle choice, a very personal lifestyle choice.

It was and still continues to be one of the defining fibers of my life.

What is it and why is it so important in my life?

Pared down to its barest essence, "Wabi-Sabi" is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and inherent order and artistry in nature.

It requires acceptance
 of the natural cycle of birth, growth, decay, and death. 

It's simple, slow, and uncluttered-and it reveres honesty and authenticity above all.

 

The words "wabi" and "sabi" do not translate easily. 

"Wabi" originally referred to the loneliness of living in nature, remote from society.

"Sabi" meant "chill", "lean" or "withered."

It wasn't until around the 14th century that these meanings began to evolve, taking on more positive connotations.

 

"Wabi" now connotes rustic simplicity, understated elegance and freshness or quietness in our physical world and can be applied to both natural and human-made objects.

It can also refer to quirks and anomalies arising from the process of construction, which add uniqueness and elegance to an object. 

"Sabi" on the other hand,  has come to define the beauty or serenity that comes with age.

It refers to t
he life of an object and its impermanence that become evident in its patina and wear, or in any visible repairs.

 

In modern times, "Wabi-Sabi" is thrift stores and flea markets, not warehouse stores.

It is 
aged wood, not wood flooring.

It can be found in sand, 
rice paper and decaying buildings but not in modern plastics, crystal or expensive jewels. 

"Wabi-Sabi" celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, weather, and utility leave behind. 

It reminds us that we are all but transient beings on this planet.

It begs us to remember 
that our bodies as well as the entire material world around us are in the process of returning to the dust from which we came. 

Through "Wabi-Sabi" we are taught to embrace scars, wrinkles, rust, corrosion and frayed edges, and the march of time they represent.

You would be challenged to find "Wabi Sabi" in facelifts, glass-and-steel skyscrapers, smart phones, or the drive for relentless self-improvement. 

It's a beauty hidden right in front of our eyes, an aesthetic of simplicity that reveals itself only when animated through the daily work of living.

 

In our culture, "simplicity" is often code for a life that's meticulously organized or for spare, boutique perfection. 

We're brought up to strive for the best, the brightest, and most extraordinary. 

It may not be natural to us to seek pleasure in the commonplace, let alone a Japanese concept that celebrates rust and imperfection.

But what could be more radically simple than acceptance?

 

As Richard Powell, author of "Wabi Sabi Simple," states:

"Accepting the world as imperfect, unfinished, and transient, and then going deeper and celebrating that reality, is something not unlike freedom." 

I find the idea of abandoning "perfect" for "good enough" or "imperfect" irresistibly tempting.

Life -- the fingerprints, the scars, the laugh lines, the wrinkles -- is itself perfectly imperfect, and I can embrace the beauty in that. 

How about you?

 

If you found my blog interesting, helpful or insightful I bet your friends would to. 

It's easy to tell them about it.

You could forward it to them by clicking on these links to:

"FaceBook", "Twitter", "LinkedIn", "StumbleUpon", "Pinterest""Google+" 

or just email them my blog link at www.survive55.com.

It would be great if you told everyone you knew about Survive55.com.

The more Baby Boomers we can help, the better place we make this world !!!


Thanks for joining me..........................................................