Now that summer is in full swing there are fewer flowers vying for my visual attention along the deeply shaded section of the Huckleberry where Dash and I walk. Since I’ve learned it’s good to set an intention prior to these excursions, I decided to spend the morning wabi-sabi spotting.
A counterpoint to the conspicuous consumption that had become the prevailing aesthetic of 15th century Japanese culture, wabi-sabi (侘寂) is the art of seeing beauty in imperfection. In other words, it’s the antithesis of standardized, assembly-line, up-to-spec production for a mass audience that came to prominence in the 20th century.
Wabi-sabi is in the eye of the beholder, a singular perspective. Since my phone is the only camera I own, however, and I don’t like to bring a digital device along on these walks, I’ve included the work of other photographers below to demonstrate the kind of beautiful imperfection to be found in a remnant hardwood forest that meanders through the suburbs of a small university town in southwestern Virginia…
Care to share some of your own examples of imperfectly perfect nature? Use the comments section below!
[Thanks to the following photographers for making their work available through the Creative Commons license: Dietmut Teijgeman-Hansen, Lisa Brown, Yogendra Joshi, Alyson Hurt, geopungo, bobistraveling, Vivian Evans, cobalt123, Damon Charles, saiberiac, and Phillip Winn. © 2017 Sidewalk Zendo. Reprints welcomed with written permission from the author.]