Tomorrow is my English exam and while I was doing some background reading on G.M Hopkins’ well known sonnet ‘Pied Beauty’, I happened to stumble upon a page titled ‘Wabi Sabi’ that caught my interest.
If the Japanese are asked what this term essentially means, most of them are likely to admit that this is an inexplicable aesthetic. Something that can be felt and observed but not defined in words. Kind of like breathing. Or maybe swallowing. These are things ingrained in our minds but cannot be described verbally.
Like G.M Hopkins’ poem, this concept touches upon the concept of “beauty in imperfection”. Just as how the former glorifies God for all the dappled things in our universe- be it the brinded cows, skies of couple-colour, spotted trout or multi-colored finchs and accepts the innate beauty he sees nestling within the world’s definition of imperfection, Wabi-Sabi , too, is centered on the celebration of assymetry and asperity in all that we are.
God’s beauty is permanent and “past change” and everything that he creates, which is in essence, everything our lives are made of, will however have certain hall marks of our mortal nature. We are “counter, original, spare and strange” and so are the things we make. Instead of ostracizing our selves for these differences, we must learn to love them. Love the facts that everything we are now will soon become everything we were. The ideas of perfection we had in our minds ten years ago has been subjected to ample number of changes and will continue to do so in the days to come.
That reflects the transience of beauty. We are artwork. Our inadequacies are not mistakes but blessings that the Lord himself has “stippled” on us to give his canvas texture and dimension. We are masterpieces. And we are all one-time visitors to God’s gallery. Enjoy it while it lasts.
The Japanese philosophy of zen again revolves around the very ideas of acceptance and contemplation on all that’s subject to change. Artists from this culture have reflected this philosophy in everything they’ve done, be it in their art, poetry or even gardens. It’s there. Screaming and shouting to the world to love themselves. They are all flawlessly perfect in spite of all their imperfections.
A few days ago, my best friend sent me a link to a short movie that is based on the same topic. I really loved it because it kind of helped me understand this abstract idea in context.We all have our insecurities with which we juggle and now’s the time to embrace ourselves for who we are. Whatever we are. Love “whatever is fickle, freckled, who knows how?” Everyone has a story. What’s yours?
P.S That’s the link! If you like it, please do share your opinions below. What is your idea of beauty?