Do you heed the Remarkable?

flowI love the word “remarkable”. I think the word itself sounds…well, remarkable.

There’s something about the soft roll of the “r” and the comfy sound of the “m”, contrasted against the staccato “k” and bold “b” that puts me in mind of the yin and yang of what creates the extraordinary, the notable and the unique.

I see the juxtaposition of those letters in much the same way that I see things every day that I think are remarkable. Like…

The contrast of crunchy decaying leaves on a tree, right next to those that are still ripe with colour and life.

The rosy granite stone that rests at the side of the road among a sea of grey pebbles. The one I pick up and put in my pocket.

The fence post that droops from the weight of years of weather and wear, still held strong by unyielding bits of now-rusted wire.

The sight of water flowing over smooth stones, ceaselessly, easily…like liquid light pouring itself, without beginning and without end.

I see these kinds of things every day. I stop. I take notice. I slow down.

It only takes a few moments, and these moments are treasures. They make me smile.

There is another word that I believe conveys the remarkable, and that’s wabi sabi. There are several definitions, but the one I like best is that there is beauty in imperfection, and beauty in transience. Things come and go. People come and go. And beauty is always in the eye of the beholder.

Do you behold? Not just with your eyes, but with your senses. Do you hold that vision, even for a moment, and revel in its beauty and its story?

Where did that piece of rosy granite come from? How old is it? What story could it tell?

Perhaps these thoughts are all from the “dreamer” side of me. The side that tempers and gives nourishment to the driven, business side of me.  The yin to the yang.

Many will say they “don’t have time” for such foolish dreaming. Life is too busy, too practical. Their plates are full. There’s no return on investment for beholding.

And what beauty can be found in the imperfect, the weathered, the rusted?

In the words of Leonard Cohen:

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There’s a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in.

So the next time you’re striving for perfection; in work or in your life: as a parent, a partner, a friend…the next time you’re looking for perfection in things, people or circumstances….

“forget your perfect offering: there’s a crack in everything.”

P.S. If you didn’t already do so, please do yourself a favor and watch the Cohen video and the wabi sabi video. Each one  is well worth beholding.

  • Anonymous

    Hey now, did I hit me head and miss half the alphabet here? What happened to cauliflower. Also, are you sure that’s not Kimosabe?

    There are several posts floating around now about taking the time to see the ‘remarkable’. It’s all around us but sometimes we just don’t see. I need to do a better job of being in the moment. I think social makes my brain mush…….

    There is no ‘perfect’; accept things the way they are, not want for much and love yourself first. Everything else seems to work from there.

    Well, I’m going to be on the golf course for the next 4 days so this will be my first big break away from social. I’ll have phone access but not much more. I guess we’ll see what happens, huh?

    Nice post, thanks for sharing. 

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      Cauliflower shall be making an appearance soon @bdorman264:disqus . And for you, I do believe I was meaning Kimosabe:) And hey…are you calling me a floater?

      Enjoy your time on the golf course. A perfect time to see the beauty Kimosabe. Cheers! Kaarina

      • Anonymous

        No floater, just like minds……..

        • Kaarina Dillabough

          OK then. I am now awaiting the photo of the single malt:)

    • Al Smith

      Dude ? Four days of golf ?  Good for you.  Enjoy.  And remember, if anyone bails on you. I’m only 7 hours away from the course. ha ! 

      • Anonymous

        All primo courses too; sorry bro, everyone showed up – there are 16 of us. 

    • Craig McBreen

      I don’t like this. You’re going to miss my Gini interview.

      • Anonymous

        I made it; I knew it was coming, just didn’t know it was today. Great job, sir. 

  • Betsy Cross

    HAHA! That’s how I live. I don’t mean to. For a year I collected observations, lessons from the ordinary. Things in nature. Fire, rocks and trees were the best teachers. Sounds so silly, but I observed patterns that applied to basic life principles.  Everything worth learning can be had through slowing down and taking in. The beauty. :)
    Thanks Kaarina! Haven’t been here in some time. Love your thoughtful posts!

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      Great to see you here @twitter-286790484:disqus and I love your avatar!

      I am an observer of the wabi sabi, the beauty in all things, and an avid collector of rocks and seashells. I’ve often said I’d be content to collect ephemera all day: beautiful fallen leaves, chestnuts, rocks, the penny on the sidewalk…

      Taking a moment to truly observe and drink in is never wasted. Cheers! Kaarina

  • Al Smith

    Wow !  Seeing the beauty in imperfection.  Who takes time to see that ?  You do.  We get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, trying to make everything perfect, that we forget (I forget) to take the time to see and smell the beautiful, imperfect roses in our life.   Thank you so much for sharing this deep and meaningful post.  You have opened my eyes and my heart to slow down, breathe, observe and take in the beauty, that is imperfection. Including myself.  The simple yet beautiful things that I overlook and bypass every day. To not judge others, but accept them, wherever they are in life.

    Love the videos and especially the line; “there’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in”

    Thanks again for this beautiful post and your friendship.  You are a gift to this world.


    • Kaarina Dillabough

      Thanks so much @55bda8bf067c222f67632d2dc41af473:disqus : your words are a gift. And as you know, it was really our conversation that provided inspiration for this post. Keep dreaming and doing, and you know what I always say to you: WTSD, haha! Let the light in, every day. Cheers! Kaarina

  • Life, for instance

     😮 “forget your perfect offering: there’s a crack in everything.” The cracks are certainly easier to see, aren’t they!? You’re right, the ability to see the beauty and symmetry in little things in life makes for a happier person! It helps if you’re a dreamer, doesn’t it! 😉

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      “Some may say I’m a dreamer…” and I am. Great chat the other day, and I look forward to our next group chat (with costumes!) on Nov. 1st. I’m prepping my homework now:) Cheers! Kaarina

  • Jen Olney

    The story is in the beauty to which we behold. We need to slow down and take a moment to enjoy what surrounds us. Drink in what we see, feel and taste and savor every piece of it. Thanks, Kaarina, for the reminder. 

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      @twitter-121085582:disqus , it’s always a pleasure to provide a reminder, although I hardly think you need one. Pressing “pause” is such a simple, satisfying act. Cheers! Kaarina

  • Mark Harai

    For the driven soul, there is nothing more powerful than a quiet moment observing the beauty around us; it thrives, grows, and accomplishes things we have no concept of. If you  stop and observe it – it can empower, inspire, bring peace, comfort, and answers to questions we long for the most.  

    What a remarkable post Kaarina – thank you for interrupting the busyness of our day and reminding us it’s the simple things in life that provide the profound .


    • Kaarina Dillabough

      @markharai:disqus you just warmed my heart by dropping by and commenting: so good to see you! I’m taking a quiet moment and observing the smile on your face in your avatar, and smiling right back at you. If we all just took moments to pause and observe, we’d all enhance our happiness immeasurably. Cheers! Kaarina

  • Kim Davies

    Hi, Kaarina.

    Indeed, it is in imperfection that we sometimes witness the remarkable. If we see something flawed, that does not mean that it does not hold its own kind of beauty. 

    When I read your post, I remembered the disabled dancers from China. The girl has lost one of her arms and the boy one of his legs, but they are able to dance remarkably together. This is the link to a video of our dance:

    In life, we have to be thankful about everything, even the imperfections…because it is in these imperfections that we could learn and make something remarkable. :)

    Thank you for sharing this, my soul-sister friend. :)

    • Mark Harai

      A remarkable video Kim, thank you for sharing : )

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      @f4443dbf6c8279fa32db2cba7ea46d7b:disqus thanks so much for sharing this video: a perfect representation of the perfect in the imperfect. All things hold beauty: we just need to choose to see it. Wishing you well my soul-sister friend:) Cheers! Kaarina

  • Elena Patrice

    What a beautiful post Kaarina! So profound, so hopeful … sounds like someone we all know and love! 😉

    Funny how certain words resonate with us and this one is surely worth noting!  You’ve given us a lot to reflect on here .. thank you for this and for your thoughts and wisdom my friend.

    Much kindness,


    • Kaarina Dillabough

      @ElenaPatrice:disqus you always say the kindest things:) I’m happy to provide a pause in your day. Cheers! Kaarina

  • Soulati

    OK, you’re getting melancholy on us…isn’t that word wasabi?

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      You talkin’ to me? Melancholy no…pausing yes:)

  • Craig McBreen


    We are going to need to get you a literary agent :) I wish I could give you  a high-five or a fist-bump … I just sent you one.

    Reading that fast, I though you wrote, wasabi. Well, Wabi Sabi makes more sense … duh! … but nothing wrong with a little horseradish on the side :)

    This is why I love Japanese culture. I think the aesthetics in that culture are related to seeing beauty in everything, in imperfection. You, madam do that so very well here, reminding us that beauty is sometimes flawed, incomplete, and fleeting, so you better grab a hold of it. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      Got a literary agent in mind @CraigMcBreen:disqus ? Wow…that’s a huge compliment, and I receive it with thanks:) Got both the high five and fist bump, (wanted to say cybernetically in order to give a nod to cyber space, but looked it up and found it doesn’t apply…but it does sound cool…cybernetically…).

      Beauty can indeed be “flawed, incomplete and fleeting”, so we best train our senses and our spirit to be attuned to the beauty every day. Cheers! Kaarina

      • Craig McBreen

        I don’t know any, but think you might need one.

        Cybernetically does sound cool. It reminds me of Ray Kurzweil’s Cybernetic Poet. Fascinating guy by the way.

        Cheers to you and thanks for the message!

        • Kaarina Dillabough

          Hey, I was being facetious, although I’d love to think my words would warrant a literary agent:) Right now, you’re all my best supporters, and I appreciate you taking the time to drop by and comment. Loved your post today: awesome interview with the one-and-only Gini:)

          • Craig McBreen

            Right back at ya! You’re one of my best supporters and favorite people. Appreciate your help. Thanks.

  • Amber-Lee Dibble


    I love new words! (I’ve already used it!! ~wabi sabi) YOU are remarkable and aren’t we all lucky to have someone like you sharing your thoughts and insights with us. Thank you.

    So often, I sit back and make note of what I need to adjust or think about after reading a post… This one, I believe, I do take notice of the remarkable that surrounds me. Not only the obvious beautiful mountains or glaciers, but the colors, yes, even in the rocks or leaves. The layers visible on the sides of the mountains, the beauty in the age of life.

    I will add Leonard Cohen’s words to my inspiration corner… I love that. Oh! Hey, some of my rock collection accompanies my post today if you get time, check them out. (and remember- friday!!)

    Thanks for being you, Kaarina.

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      And thanks for being the inspirational Pocahontas that you are @girlygrizzly:disqus . I shall head over to your post now, and wait with anticipatory glee for Friday’s post:) Wabi sabi: glad to have introduced you to a new word and concept. Cheers! Kaarina

  • Kim Manley Ort

    A woman after my own heart. To me, it makes life so much more meaningful to slow down and notice the “perfection in the imperfection,” as you so beautifully put it.

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      @twitter-25019133:disqus  so glad this resonated with you:) And I love your avatar photo! To pausing and perfection in the imperfection. Cheers! Kaarina

  • Jens P. Berget

    Hi Kaarina, 

    I have been too occupied with trying to be remarkable, especially after reading Seth Godin’s The Purple Cow. I haven’t seen the beauty in imperfection, well, I have seen it in many other people, but never in myself. I’ve been trying way too hard to find a way to do something awesome, something remarkable.

    Your words makes me think that what’s important is to have fun, and being motivated. I received an email from a very successful blogger, a few days ago. He told me that he stopped using to-do lists, because he never could finish them, and he just kept adding new stuff to his lists. So, now he just works on projects, and he picks a new projects to work on when he feels like it. This way he’s always motivated, because he just works on what he wants to be working on. Not what his to-do list is telling him. I find this very interesting, and that it’s a little related to not being remarkable, because when we struggle to always do what we expect or what other people expect all the time, it becomes exhausting. 

    I’m going to try something new. And I love Cohen. Thank you :)

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      @berget:disqus , my fellow Cohen fan (woohoo!) and way-too-hard-on-yourself friend…Stop “trying”, especially stop “trying too hard”. When we push too hard, we are met with resistance. Be like the water flowing over the rocks in the photo above. Flow and allow yourself to move and course through the important things, not the to-do lists because, as I often say: to-do lists never get tuh-dun!

      You might want to revisit and remember this post as a gentle reminder:)

      And remember: remarkable is in the eye of the beholder. When we are the best we can be, perfect in our imperfection, we allow others to see us, and it is they who will decide if we are remarkable…and you are:) Cheers! Kaarina

      • Jens P. Berget

        @kaarinadillabough:disqus Thank you so much :) I still remember everything about your “old”  post. Brilliant.

        • Kaarina Dillabough


  • Anonymous

    Ahhh @kaarinadillabough:disqus …you have entered a very special place in my heart…I hold Leonard Cohen in very high esteem. He is a poet whose words have moved me for almost 40 years.  I have sung his songs I have almost all of his albums (okay…CDs)  This selection is a stunning piece of poetry.  Beautiful.  Moved me to tears. See @LoriGosselin:twitter I DO cry in public 😉 And your own poetic meanderings, Kaarina about things remarkable….just lovely.  You have music and poetry in your soul my friend.  I am so glad that I am on a journey that includes getting to know you more.

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      You’ve moved me close to tears  @socialmediadds:disqus , and I know according to @bdorman264:disqus  we’re not supposed to do that online:) Thanks so much for the powerfully crafted comment, and for your oh-so-kind words. A fellow Cohen fan? I should have known from the moment we connected:) We shall journey together. I look forward to our next chat over a Lori’s on Nov. 1st. (and I best be getting moving on my “About” page homework!) Cheers !Kaarina

      • Anonymous

        I said that? Shoot, I tear up all the time………… and off…..:)

        • Kaarina Dillabough

          You once told me I wasn’t allowed to cry online. Can’t remember where or when or even what I said, but you told me no tears were allowed. I think you were just trying to be your supportive self:)

  • David Goldstein

    you point out so many wonderful contrasts that go unnoticed by most of us  and show how everyday leaves and streams are remarkable wow, thanks for sharing Kaarina!

    Nature is imperfect and being part of nature so are we. Our imperfections set us apart and make us all uniquely remarkable.

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      Such a lovely comment @twitter-112550509:disqus . I really appreciate you dropping by and taking time to comment, and love your line, “Our imperfections set us apart and make us all uniquely remarkable.” Amen to that:) Cheers! Kaarina

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  • Gini Dietrich

    “There’s something about the soft roll of the “r” and the comfy sound of the “m”, contrasted against the staccato “k” and bold “b” that puts me in mind of the yin and yang of what creates the extraordinary, the notable and the unique.”

    That is some brilliant writing! I love that.

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      Thanks so much @ginidietrich:disqus : That’s a lovely compliment:) Cheers! Kaarina

  • Alicia Jay

    Such a beautiful post! It is “remarkable” in and of itself! I think nature is constantly trying to remind us that imperfections are beautiful. I remember reading somewhere things like, “Your feet are not exactly the same size. One arm might be a hair longer than the other.” These aren’t drastic imperfections but they’re there. They are build into all of us.

    When you said, “So the next time you’re striving for perfection; in work or in your
    life: as a parent, a partner, a friend…the next time you’re looking for
    perfection in things, people or circumstances….” were you talking directly to me?! Thank you for the reminder, my friend:)

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      Just talking out loud, my friend…just talking out loud:) But if it resonates…….Cheers! Kaarina

  • Anonymous

    Beauty and the Crack..= wabi sabi..I love it! Something new to teach my Grandkids..they’re used to me dragging them out in Mother Nature to see just these things. A long time habit from my Father doing the same with me.  A Fabulous thing to pass on, and you put it into such wonderful context.
    Thank you!  



    • Kaarina Dillabough

      Ann, so nice to see you here @equuisdancer:disqus . I’m glad you enjoyed this, and I like your first words: “Beauty and the Crack = wabi sabi”. I think there might just be another post there:) Cheers! Kaarina

      • Anonymous

        I have to thank Amber-Lee for introducing me to all her Fav peeps..I am totally enjoying getting to know you and others..esp now that Summer is over and I spend more time online.You made me smile when I read this on a gray, damp day..impatiently waiting for the Sun to made me smile and that’s just as good as Sunshine! .I’ve been thinking of blogging’s been years and sooo much has changed. You all are wonderful inspirations and share so many learning tools..and boy do I need them! 

        • Kaarina Dillabough

          I feel inspired just by reading your comment Ann: thanks so much @equuisdancer:disqus :) @girlygrizzly:disqus is such a fave friend of mine: delighted that you found me through her. And I’m glad that smile is as good as Sunshine:) I look forward to getting to know you. Cheers! Kaarina

    • Kaarina Dillabough

      Ann, so nice to see you here @equuisdancer:disqus . I’m glad you enjoyed this, and I like your first words: “Beauty and the Crack = wabi sabi”. I think there might just be another post there:) Cheers! Kaarina

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