Wabi-sabi

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Wabi-sabi represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centred on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”. It is a concept derived from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence, specifically impermanence, the other two being suffering and emptiness or absence of self-nature. Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, asperity (roughness or irregularity), simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes.
Source: Wikipedia

The term 'wabi-sabi' is new to me, but the concepts it describes are not. In the midst of our autumn, it is the perfect term to describe the beauty of nature and the fading colours which will soon give way to the desolation of winter.  When I learned this term, I immediately went back to tag many of the photos on my Instagram feed, as I realised I've been capturing moments of wabi-sabi for a long time without having a name for it. 

You may have noticed that there has been no mention of novels over the last couple of weeks, and that's because I've been obsessively watching (streaming via Amazon) the TV show "The Big C ". That too is wabi-sabi. If you haven't heard of it (I hadn't) it's a comedy-drama about a 42 year old wife/ mother who is diagnosed with terminal cancer, and who - over four short series - seeks to live life to the full while she still can.

With such a premise, it was never destined to have a happy ending but I found myself laughing, crying and generally loving the eccentric cast of characters which include stunning performances from leads Laura Linney and Oliver Platt. It's wabi-sabi in the way it captures the imperfections of family life and relationships and also in the portrayal of the inevitability of the life-cycle. Touching, uplifting and great TV, which has accompanied a great deal of knitting. I'd definitely recommend giving it a try. (The affiliate banner below will take you to a 30 day free trial of the streaming service I've been using. If you try it out, I also really liked the Amazon exclusive show Transparent - if you are not offended by adult themes and gender issues, that is another one to try out.)

There's a lot planned for the coming week including a new collaborative project which I'm pretty excited to tell you about. I'm also working on a sample for a new design which is distracting me from the reality of My Boy heading off on his first 'overnight' school trip - he's excited but I'm in a bit of a tizz. I'll be back soon to tell you about the new projects and in the meantime, I'd love to hear any wabi-sabi moments you'd like to share. 

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