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Anne Townsend

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Wabi Sabi ~~~ Beauty in Imperfection

Wabi Sabi. Whenever people ask me about the Japanese calligraphy I had painted on a cream kist, they first think it’s Beauty is Perfection, then Beauty in Perfection, and then, they get it: Beauty in Imperfection. Once this sinks in, they relax. As soon as they grasp that there’s actually a phrase for this, it gives it credibility. I saw it again yesterday when my (beautiful, glowing) new workspace/desk was delivered. The two people that drove over from Swellendam visibly relaxed when they understood Wabi Sabi. ”Oh”, Charles said, ” yes, yes, I get it.” He is the furniture restorer who sold me a chest of drawers last year, explaining that one of the six handles was slightly bigger than the other five, because he couldn’t find the exact size. ”It gives it character”, he explained. My uneven floors, my (porous) 1850 clay walls, and my slightly misshapen front door, are now art. Words really do change our minds. Neural pathways are like any construction site. In flux. In motion. Water#


Photo Credit: AnneTownsend



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