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Posts Tagged ‘perfection of the imperfect’

Ever heard of wabi-sabi? No, it’s not the green horseradish paste on sushi platters. That’s wasabi. Wabi-sabi is a Japanese aesthetic that considers imperfection to be perfect or, to put it another way, it’s the perfection of the imperfect. In a previous post, I wrote how this philosophy helps me deal with my tendency towards perfectionism. So bolstered with thoughts of wabi-sabi, I participated in a silversmithing workshop last Saturday. After a long day’s worth of small successes and frustrating failures, I completed my first project. Go ahead and look at it closely and you’ll find it’s a perfectly imperfect ring!

#1 – Bits of Wisdom
These twenty-two interesting photos with bits of wisdom printed on them by photographer and graphic designer Julian Bialowas are definitely worth reading through.

#2 – PocketCPR
Does the thought of performing CPR on someone in need intimidate you? Here’s a video that presents a new product that you might want to have. Turn on an FDA-cleared PocketCPR and it will coach you step-by-step through the process. It is suggested on the website that users should also have training in CPR. At $149.00 the device may seem pricey, but what’s the price of someone’s life?

#3 – Paint Calculator
If your plans to spruce up your home this summer include painting, you’ll want to check out this Paint Calculator on the Home Goes Strong site. I also learned while visiting the site that “One gallon of paint covers approximately 400 square feet.” File that bit of information in your memory bank!

#4 – Trip Wow
Make a free computer slide show with tripadvisor’s TRIPWOW! program. Start by selecting a theme and then upload your photos through Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, TravelPod, or your computer. Add names and comments and then either upload your own music or select from TRIPWOW’s music or let TRIPWOW select music for you. Making a slide show couldn’t be easier! Before you begin, though, make sure you understand the site’s privacy policy and its terms of use.

#5 – Your Story
If you want your life to be a magnificent story, then begin by realizing that you are the author and everyday you have the opportunity to write a new page.
Mark Houlahan

Have a great weekend!!

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Wabi-sabi is the quintessential Japanese aesthetic. It is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble. It is a beauty of things unconventional . . . . It is also two separate words, with related but different meanings. “Wabi” is the kind of perfect beauty that is seemingly-paradoxically caused by just the right kind of imperfection, such as an asymmetry in a ceramic bowl which reflects the handmade craftsmanship, as opposed to another bowl which is perfect, but soul-less and machine-made. “Sabi” is the kind of beauty that can come only with age, such as the patina on a very old bronze statue. Reading those words on Wiki Wiki Web soothed the ever-shrinking perfectionist in me. As I’ve grown older and wiser, I’ve come to embrace the notion that some things in life are actually better when they are not perfect.

For example, rows of tiny striations marred the smooth surface of a pair of shiny, black, patent leather footwear I purchased six months ago. Noticing the striations, I became distressed. “How could this be? I’ve only worn them to work a few times! Is it too late to return these shoes? Can they be repaired?” were the thoughts making noises in my head. Knowing that the shoe manufacturer was a reputable one, I did a little online research. I happily found out that a warranty policy existed, but the manufacturer would need to inspect my footwear to determine whether or not the striations were a warranty-related issue. Emailing the manufacturer a close-up photo of the striations was a possible first step. Using my little point and shoot digital camera, I snapped several close-up shots. As the photos were downloading to my computer, I saw images of dark, blue-black ripples combined with rust-colored areas. Art can be found in amazing places! Upon closer examination, I liked how the dirt speckles gave the photo a feeling of texture and how the strong diagonal line created by the rough rubber sole and the horizontal line created by the suede stitching both led my eyes to the largest rust-colored image. You’ve probably guessed by now that the photo that many of you have been staring at for the last two weeks is nothing more than a close-up of the striations on my footwear and that the rust-colored areas are nothing more than the reflections of my hands holding the camera.

From comments I’ve received, I’m guessing this was a challenging mystery photo. Sorry, for some reason I thought this one was going to be easier than the last! But thanks to all of you who participated in the contest and submitted guesses. Without a doubt, I think my readers have some of the most creative minds out there. But alas, there can only be one winner. So without further ado, I would like to congratulate Ella L. for winning the Birthday Contest! Your prize, a set of handmade cards, inserts, envelopes, and adhesive, will be mailed to you soon! Hope you enjoy the cards as much as I enjoyed making them!

What about my footwear with the striations? Bowing to the philosophy of wabi-sabi, I respect the perfection of their imperfection and they’re still in my closet.

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