Wabi Sabi

Blog 1682 – 04.29.2920

Wabi Sabi

Nothing lasts, nothing is finished, nothing is perfect. There is much to learn from other cultures with no one having a corner on truth. I have commented several times before and probably will again on the Japanese idea of art that not only acknowledges imperfection but praises and displays it in all it’s beauty. We in the western world have been taught that striving always for perfection is the ideal but frustration, disappointment, failure or habitual hypocrisy most often accompany such a pursuit of perfection. It cannot be obtained unless we incorporate brokenness, scars, and shortcomings into our definition of beauty and perfection.

Life is meant to be and can be so much more than striving or a mad dash to some distant destination. Life can be and truly is a journey where every bump, detour, twist, and turn back in the road, even seeming disasters along the way, are all apart of the wonderful and beautiful adventure.

The eastern mindset of not “either or” as most dualistic western philosophies and religions teach but the “whole or both” of eastern thought frees us to see the whole spectrum, the bigger picture. When man in the Bible story of the beginning of things eats of the fruit of the knowledge of good and of evil his eyes are supposedly opened, but as the story enfolds the opposite seems more true as he sees less and less around him choosing to focus on his new narrow interpretation of what is good and even more often on what he thinks is not. The Creator in the story had pronounced regarding all he created previous to the fruit eating episode, “It is good.” We are lead to believe there was “a fall” that changed a singular creation into a torn apart and divided one with everything and everyone then divided into two camps – good versus evil. And western folk per the fable must label everything “good or bad” with “do not touch or partake, forbidden ” written on the “bad stuff” and “kosher or potable, edible” on the “good stuff.” And to make matters worse there is seldom “perfect” agreement on which is which, leading to feelings and expressions of guilt in all who buy into the dualistic world view.

I love the Louis Armstrong version of “What A Wonderful World” for, to me, it’s expression “the bright blessed day and the dark sacred night” and the ying yang symbol express far more completely than a cross, (plus sign, crooked Swastika or Buddhist, Hinduism, or Jainism version which stood for divinity not racial purity or preference), star (five or six pointed or one with a crescent moon) or other symbol the wholeness or holiness of life.

Thinking myself a sort of word Smith I am quite pleased with way the last paragraphed turned out, even if it may seem to some a bit convoluted, sorry for the big word. I mean by it, a bit difficult to follow. There is a thunder and rain storm going on outside my window in the dark as I write this and the power has winked off once briefly. Some may prefer my stories of real time events or past happenings to my preaching or pontificating. I mean never to come across doing either of those last two. I am just trying to as I did in my high school newspaper column, my senior year, called “In My Opinion,” share enlightened, encouraging, and entertaining words. If I can accomplish only two, I hope for encouraging and entertaining, and if only one, encouraging. On those rare occasion when I can pull off all three I will feel myself the writer I want to be, but no more striving instead just being Wabi Sabi or as Mother Mary in the Beatle song, or Doris Day’s in one of her more popular songs, just letting be what will be.

I do hope others too will allow their lives to be fuller and better by not living just a one sided view of it, thinking everyone and everything good or bad, but just allowing or letting everything, us and them to be. We are all not human robots but human beings after all.

Your friend and fellow traveler,

David White


Let It Be

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