Wabi-Sabi: The Beauty In Imperfection

Nothing lasts. Nothing is finished. Nothing is perfect.

“Wabi-sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished and nothing is perfect.” — Richard Powell

Life is beautiful...

Because it is imperfect, impermanent and incomplete.

Nothing lasts. From the highest mountain to the deepest ocean, change is a constant. Whether barely perceptible over a millennia or shocking in its swiftness, change is unavoidable.

Nothing is finished. Your life is a story with chapters left unwritten. Everything on Earth and in the heavens stands incomplete, a broad canvas shifting and evolving by the hand of some unseen artist.

Nothing is perfect. From the delicate scars of kintsugi to the infinite variance of snowflakes, imperfection is the hallmark of nature. Are you not radiant like the diamond with its blemishes, scratches and inclusions?

Consider the mighty oak. When is its beauty in full bloom? When is its purpose fully realized? When is its life’s work done?

Perhaps it is when in root, when it is but a sprout, when it is the spry sapling or when moss grows gently on its withers.

Perhaps it is the unfurling of emerald green leaves in spring, the tassels flowering on the catkins, the curious acorn when going to seed or the riot of color signaling the autumn harvest.

Everything in this world is like the mighty oak: fleeting, evolving and beautifully flawed. So much to see. So much to experience. Each one a universe unto its own.

Even the lowly rock has a story to tell. Once a mighty mountain, it now humbly lines a stream bed. Perhaps it will one day provide soil for the mighty oak to root in.

You are taught to strive for perfection from birth, but beauty lies elsewhere. It awaits in humble silence for those wise enough to look there.


🤔 Food for Thought:

What are some of your imperfections?

Do they add character and beauty, or do they rob you of it?


⚙️ One Small Step:

Walk outside and approach the nearest tree with leaves low enough to touch. Look closely at one leaf. Now look even closer. What first appears symmetric and perfect is actually asymmetric and flawed in unique ways never to be repeated. Kind of like you. Is it not beautiful?