“Wabi-sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.”
Wabi-sabi is very vague, elusive but very ordinary. It has mostly been associated with Zen Buddhism as a distinct aesthetic way. Wabi-sabi in its highest expression is a way of life…a particular type of beauty. It is seeing the “rustic” beauty in the natural things of everyday life. Originally wabi and sabi held different meanings but today they form almost a single word. Wabi-sabi embraces loneliness, the aging of things, the natural course of all of nature, the deepest essence of life.
Simplicity is at the centre of things wabi-sabi. The empty nature of all things is wabi-sabi. Everything is connected and interdependent. Nothing, including us, exists outside of this oneness. If you look very closely at anything you can see this connectedness…if you look deeply into a simple sheet of paper the word paper is seen only to be a vague label for something huge and wonderful. In a single sheet of paper we see the tree, the sun and rain and soil that allowed that tree to grow. We see the woodcutter, the paper maker…we see the entire universe in a single sheet of paper.
Wabi-sabi has always played a large part of haiku writing, that temporary moment of enlightenment when we see for brief moment, the true nature of things. We see the true essence of a single sheet of paper…an apple suddenly becomes more than just a label; more than just a piece of fruit, for the apple contains everything…as do we…as does each single haiku.