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  • Writer's pictureshelisloterbeek

Imperfect Beauty or Wabi Sabi

Nope, I didn't misspell wasabi. But first, come with me through my literary math equation.

Two years ago I saw one of those signs that made me read it twice. It said "Nothing perfect is beautiful." Read it again. "Nothing perfect is beautiful." And it hasn't left my mind since.


Each year I receive a word for the year. It's not something I pick out, but I wait for it to make itself known to me. For years this has happened, and I'm going to be honest, I've had some GREAT words. Empathy. Resilience. But last year my word was truth. Blah. It sounded so icky, but I had a lot to learn about truth in encouragement. I'll write about that another time.

This year my word was beauty. Again, I thought it sounded pretty boring. However, after my whole go 'round with "truth" last year, I had to give it a chance.


Add those two things to a recently introduced Japanese philosophy of wabi sabi and it fits me perfectly where I'm at today. Wabi sabi is, by definition, a worldview focused on the acceptance of things that are transient and imperfect. It is sometimes described as taking something in that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete". Sort of like looking at something a second time that I may have passed over the first time.


So here are some of my wabi sabi photos. Take a look or two. How do they make you feel? What do we have to learn from the things that are imperfect and fleeting?

My Offering:

i am a moment

a split second of time

open my eyes so wide it hurts to see

see the real

the imperfect

the fleeting

the beauty

the hope that is in all things

to be restored.

see the real with hope

the dingy dirty

faces, feet, hands

through the sewage streets

the peaceful, painful, dying

a mirrored reflection of myself

imperfect, fleeting

to see the beauty of Love.

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