I'll Have Kintsugi With a Side of Wabi Sabi
Thank you to all the self-less gurus vigorously pumping out innovative theories to improve my life and nurture me, mind, body and soul.I love the multi-sensual approach, I am told that peaceful, glorious nirvana can be all mine just a gluten-free, rose oil-infused, pink candle lit, drum circle accompanied, headstand away. Despite all this fresh, bountiful energy generously devoted to increasing my welfare, the two theories that have rung out to me clearly above the loud expanding expansion gobble goop are based on ancient Japanese wisdom.
The first that resonates so deeply in me is the philosophy of Kintsugi. This soul-full art form dates back to the 15th century when shogun/inspired lifestyle guru, Ashikaga Yoshimasa, asked a local craftsman to bind together a damaged tea set with melted gold. He wanted to repair the brokenness in a way that would make the dish even more beautiful than it was prior to being broken…more exquisite and valuable than other more “perfect” sets.
This lovely way of thinking can be stretched out to embrace the fragile human condition…broken hearts, broken dreams, all patched back together, tenderly with gold spun out of hope, compassion and rising above. This makes you “Kintsugi, stronger and more beautiful thanks to your damaged pieces.
The other philosophy I love is “Wabi Sabi”. Not to be confused with Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo, the Wikipedia description reads, “Wabi Sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect." Wow. I know it is a little anti-American to not be frantically chasing perfect, but just between us, you have to agree Wabi-Sabi is a lovely notion, takes a lot of pressure off and is really fun to say.
I fully embrace “Stop the Glorification of Busy” as my new favorite bumper sticker driven lifestyle philosophy, but I wonder if “I Love Wabi-Sabi” might have any mainstream traction?Maybe we need a reality show to build some momentum. Go into brand new homes…strip paint and carpet down to the wood, replace all the artwork with children’s drawings, chip some of the china, dig up the yard and replant wildflowers. I can imagine the opening title shot… a wobbly table, a handful of fuzzy dandelions, and a dinged teapot…simple charming and best of all beautifully imperfect.
P.S. Shogun Yoshimasa’s reign also introduced the grace of ikebana style floral design, government patronage of Noh musical theater and the tea ceremony.