Wabi-sabi; appreciation without the panic

wabi-sabi

I wrote about wabi-sabi, how it can help you look at your day-to-day life differently and put you more at ease.

You might be asking: what good is a concept that reminds you things shrivel, break or die?

It’s quite good, actually.

Here’s an example from my own life.

See the painting above? We saw it hanging in a gallery one summer and were smitten. We left the gallery without buying it. After all, we were only there to look. But we couldn’t stop talking about it, so we returned to the gallery for one last look and that was that. The painting became ours.

That was 2004, around the same time a powerful tsunami hit the Indian ocean. Remember? It was all over the news and the stories were heartbreaking. I remember turning away from a newspaper article, looking up at the new painting now hanging on our wall and thinking it could get destroyed in a flood, fire or some other unfortunate event. Oddly enough the thought wasn’t troubling. In fact, it put me at ease.

By imagining the painting damaged or gone it suddenly became more precious to me. It wasn’t about giving way to carelessness or neglect. It was accepting the painting could (will?) one day be gone AND appreciating it, all at once.

That’s what a wabi-sabi perspective offers. Appreciation without the panic.

 

Exhibition kitchen/The Rockpool experience by Elaine Coffee

elaine coffee painting

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