Facing the ever-growing self-optimization delusion that fuels our inner critic non-stop, it is quite comforting to fall back on the Japanese idea respectively Zen-inspired concept of “Wabi-Sabi”.
Wabi-Sabi describes the art of Imperfect Beauty – accepting peacefully the natural cycle of growth and decay (as well as cycle of life & death), in which everything has beauty.
It is simple, slow and uncluttered, and it reverse authenticity above all. Finally, it is the imperfection that make up uniqueness and individuality. Just perfection can be copied, if perfection exists at all.
Wabi-Sabi celebrates cracks (e.g. see the pic of bowl with gold-filled cracks), crevices and all the other marks that time, weather and loving use leave behind.
It reminds us that we are all just transient beings on this planet and that we will return to dust at the end like the entire material world.
Wabi-sabi is not just a Concept, but also an aesthetic and a worldview.
Simply, an intuitive way of Living reflecting the Japanese “mindfulness culture” and in particular “yugon”.
The latter stands for an awareness of the universe that triggers deep emotional responses impossible to express verbally.
Translated literally wabi means lonely, miserable and feeling lost. Just in combination with the term: sabi the meaning is uncovered – being old, mature and showing patina.
Not the obvious beauty is the ideal but hidden (covered up) beauty. Harsh simplicity that reveals appeal / charm to understanding/knowing people (like Connaisseur in French) and nobless hidden in the envelop of unimpressiveness is regarded as true beauty.
In den Wäldern drüben, tief unter der Last des Schnees, ist letzte Nacht ein Pflaumenzweig erblüht.
In the woods over there, deep under the weight of the snow, a branch of plum blossomed last night.
Hanami (short-living cherry blossom on trees that don´t grow cherry fruits) but also plum blossom arms are symbols for transience and therefore, also for a young, honorable dead – traditionally among Samurai but also in general related to seppuko (suicide to save one`s Honor and the one of the family, which is still practiced today).
Well, I don´t want to let you go with dark thoughts…in the contrary!
Please, keep in mind you are perfectly imperfect. Outside beauty is by far less valuable than the inner one. Stay pur and authentic, just be you.
And if someone is really interested in you, he/she will be empathic and will take her/his time to get to know you and recognize you – uncovering your beauty. You´ve deserved such kind of special person – who cannot be fooled by polished, shiny surfaces – because you are truely beautiful.
Augun mín og augun þín, (My eyes and your eyes) ó, þá fögru steina (oh, those beautiful jewels) mitt er þitt og þitt er mitt, (mine is yours and yours is mine/what’s mine is yours, what’s yours is mine) þú veizt, hvað eg meina. (you know what I mean)
Langt er síðan sá eg hann, (It’s been long since I last saw him) sannlega fríður var hann, (truly he was beautiful) allt, sem prýða mátti einn mann, (everything that is good in a man) mest af lýðum bar hann. (most of it he had)
Þig eg trega manna mest (I miss you more than anyone) mædd af tára flóði, (tired of the flood of tears) ó, að við hefðum aldrei sést, (oh, if only we had never net) elsku vinurinn góði. (my dear beloved friend)
The most famous love poem of Iceland is written by a woman. Though little is actually known of her the amount of legends that circle around Rósa Guðmundsdóttir, also known as Skáld-Rósa (= Rósa the poet) or Vatnsenda-Rósa(= Rósa of Vatnsendi), would suggest she was a striking and noteworthy person in her time just the same. Today she may be considered among the most famous of Icelandic poets of all times.
Born 1795 to a family living in Hörgárdal area, Rósa was taught not only how to read but also how to write, a rarity for the Icelandic women of the past.
Rósa’s mother died as she was but 12 years old and soon after she left home to work as a servant in Möðruvellir. This is where one of the most known legends of her began, that she met and fell in love with Páll Melsted, and the legend also states her most famous love poem Vísur Vatnsenda-Rósu was written with him in mind. Páll moved to Copenhagen to study when Rósa was around 15-17 years old and was already engaged at the time to another lady. Upon his return Rósa was hired at their service and eventually Páll was the spokesman at her first marriage – yet the first child of Rósa was named Pálína, a name that’s essentially the female form of Páll.
The marriage of Rósa and her husband Ólafur Ásmundason was not an easy one. Rósa had an affair with a man called Natan Ketilsson, a known ladies’ man, and some of her children were rumoured to be his instead of Ólafur’s… one, Súsanna, definitely got Natansdóttir as her official patronymic. Rósa admitted to the affair in a trial in 1827 but Ólafur forgave her so that their marriage could continue. Eventually the couple divorced in 1837.
Natan left Rósa in 1826, got involved with other people and was murdered in 1828, a case that is now known as the last murder in Iceland where the murderers were executed for their crime.
Rósa became a midwife, known for her skills, just as her own mother and grandmother had been. Later on she went to study midwifery and graduated, settling down with Gísli Gíslason, a man 20 years younger than her. Though this relationship seemed to have a warm start it was also said that Gísli drank heavily and abused his wife when drunk. The marriage however lasted until the year 1855 when she got ill and died at age 60.
I went to the market, where they sell birds and I bought some birds for you my love I went to the market, where they sell flowers and I bought some flowers for you my love I went to the market, where they sell chains and I bought some chains heavy chains for you my love And then I went to the slave market and I looked for you but I did not find you there my love
Thousands and thousands of years Would not be enough To tell of That small second of eternity When you held me When I held you One morning In winter’s light In Montsouris Park In Paris On earth This earth That is a star