I’ve recently been reading about a fascinating philosophy called “wabi-sabi.” I love it’s idea of embracing imperfection. You can read more about it here. Although I’m sure I’m bastardizing it, I have read it and interpret it to mean a kind of humble respect for those things that are imperfect and worn though a natural aging. The asymetrical flower bed, the rough hewn table, the thread-bare sweater that you love…those are wabi-sabi.
However, as I run and walk and meditate my way around my very precious time alone…I begin to think about the things that wabi-sabi is not…those things which are very real and very important to me. Those broken, imperfect, and not artistically interesting things.
Most people have broken places, parts of their soul and mind that are not whole. How do we mend these parts, and prepare them for public showing?
In Kintsugi, another philosophy, breakage and repair are viewed as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. Broken pottery may be mended with gold, to indicate that the broken-ness makes the item more valuable…the break itself the most interesting part of the piece.
This is the very perfection of a man, to find out his own imperfections.Saint Augustine
If you want new… go to Target. If you want an interesting, complex, real person….with layers and a lifetime full of stories and experience, find a person with gold in the place of their broken places. Maybe they won’t be stronger…because they haven’t been mended with steel. But more precious, more fragile, more worthy of your time and interest and effort.
It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.