Stacks and stacks of books. Most of them overflowing with dark images of peeling paint, frayed edges, rust and erosion. I carry the books around the house from room to room. They live on every chair I sit in, they live on the kitchen table, they live next to my bed. There when I go to sleep, there when I wake up. In preparation for a workshop, I’m in full wabi sabi research mode. As a result, I feel gloomy and see decay everywhere.
Detailed close-ups are best suited for wabi sabi studies and I start with my own reflection. My nose practically pressed against the bathroom mirror, I’m studying the pigmentation spots, the lines in my face. I remember how the other day, a beautician suggested I consider fillers to gently correct what nature is doing. Could she tell that I have decay on my mind? I declined, explaining that I try to be comfortable in my evolving skin. It helps that I tend towards melancholy and love resting in its peaceful and calming qualities. Still, after a while the self-exploration starts feeling a little too vulnerable, so I move on to browse through the house.
Scars, stains, roughness and discolorations. Decay? Or works of art that took years to create? It takes wisdom, sophistication and silence to see it, but there is magnificent beauty in these marks of time. When we try too hard to hang onto the past, it shows, and it looks strained. When we relax into the moment and come to acceptance, it looks glorious. Here’s to accepting nature’s cycle of growth and decay. Here’s to embracing life’s never-ending transition. Here’s to the subtle art of being at peace.