On Wabi-sabi

When some day in the far-flung future I get my knuckles tattooed it’ll probably say WABI SABI.

My Shoes

Wabi-sabi is a Japanese concept that focuses on the aesthetic of transience. Beauty is found in well-worn objects, the serene knowledge that “nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect” (wiki citation). Wabi-sabi goes hand-in-hand with mono no aware which is, butchered into crude statements, “the wistfulness of transience” or “wistfulness of the passing of things.”

A perfect example is my old pair of Vans.

They have had a good life, have been used and show the signs of this use. They fit me perfectly and I know at some point in the future they will need to be retired. I feel melancholy when I think of getting a new pair of shoes, a sense of loss and almost a sense of loss of self. The wistfulness is not a sad feeling, but one of acceptance and understanding. I love my shoes, and I will have to let them go.

The beauty is impermanence.


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