Heeding the Remarkable and Wabi Sabi

By February 22, 2016 Musings

IMG_3211I 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.”

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